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   Cruise Travel - Cruise News

Cruise Club is a free service, and when you join, you will begin receiving weekly updates including the latest cruise news and cruise specialsWelcome to this week's edition of Cruise News, the best place on the Web to find up-to-date information about cruises. To automatically receive Cruise News via email each week, join our Cruise Club.

For up to the minute news, stop by Cruise Talk anytime to post a message or find out what your fellow passengers and industry insiders are saying about a particular ship, cruise line or destination.


Cruise News - Jume 21, 2021

Holland America Line Announces Fall Cruise 2021 Plans
Holland America Line is gearing up to restart cruising out of Port of San Diego in California beginning with a season of cruises to Mexico, Hawaii and along the California coast aboard Koningsdam and Zuiderdam. The cruise line has expanded the season with the addition of six new cruise departures for Zuiderdam and two new cruises on Koningsdam, offering a total of 40 cruises from San Diego from September 2021 through April 2022.

With the resumption of service on the West Coast, Holland America Line also is looking toward cruising in the Caribbean with four ships. All sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the season will begin Oct. 23, 2021, with Nieuw Amsterdam. The ship will be joined by the new Rotterdam Nov. 3, Eurodam Nov. 14 and Nieuw Statendam Nov. 21. Caribbean cruises range in length from four to 14 days, span the entire region and include a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private island.

"San Diego has always been an incredible homeport for our ships, and we are eager to restart on the West Coast with two ships operating an expanded season, including the debut of Koningsdam on these itineraries and close-to-home California cruises that our guests are going to love," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "We've also been anticipating announcing our plans for the Caribbean and we're thrilled to have four ships in the region, including our new Rotterdam. Cruising is back and having vaccinated ships for these cruises in 2021 ensures that we can deliver the experience just how our guests remember and expect. We're ready to cruise!"

The on-board cruise experience will offer amenities that are a hallmark of the brand. Dining will be available in all restaurants and specialty venues, as well as room service. Entertainment will be in full swing in the main show lounge, and live music and dancing will be featured in Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King's Blues Club, Billboard Onboard and Rolling Stone Rock Room.

Port-to-Table culinary demonstrations, EXC Talks and other enrichment programming will bring regional cultures on board through engaging activities and special presentations. Guests may choose to explore port destinations independently or on ship-sponsored tours, following the local ports' health guidelines.

Highlights of the 2021-2022 San Diego Cruise Season:

• Zuiderdam: Sept. 18, 2021, to April 22, 2022: 17 cruises from San Diego — eight Mexico, four California coast, three Hawaii and two Panama Canal.

• Koningsdam: Oct. 10, 2021, to April 3, 2022: 23 cruises from San Diego — 15 Mexico, six California coast and two Hawaii cruises.

• Seven-day cruises along the California coast include a new itinerary that calls at Catalina, Santa Barbara and San Francisco for a late evening stay, along with Ensenada, Mexico. Additional "Classic California Coast" cruises include California calls at Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Avalon, and at Ensenada.

• A new 21-day Panama Canal cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam from Seattle, Washington, to Fort Lauderdale departs Oct. 2 and includes calls at San Diego; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama;; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Half Moon Cay.

• All seven-day "Mexican Riviera" cruises feature three Mexican ports of call: Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas.

• "Mexico and Sea of Cortez" itineraries are between nine and 12 days and call at a combination of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas, Guaymas, Topolobampo, Pichilingue (La Paz) and Loreto, Mexico.

• "Circle Hawaii" cruises are 17 or 18 days and call at the Hawaiian ports of Lahaina, Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili and Kona, and Ensenada.

Two 14-day cruises through the Panama Canal from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale on Zuiderdam depart Jan. 2 and Jan. 30, 2022. Highlights of the 2021-2022 Caribbean Cruise Season:

• Nieuw Amsterdam: Oct. 23, 2021, to April 7, 2022: 24 cruises to the eastern, western and southern Caribbean. All itineraries are seven days except a nine-day holiday cruise departing Dec. 30.

• Rotterdam: Nov. 3, 2021, to April 10, 2022: The ship kicks off its maiden season in the Caribbean with a series of 22 cruises, ranging from three to 11 days covering a wide offering of Caribbean ports.

• Eurodam: Nov. 14, 2021, to April 10, 2022: 15 departures, including 12 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer cruises featuring a partial Panama Canal exploration of Gatun Lake and three seven-day eastern Caribbean itineraries.

• Nieuw Statendam: Nov. 21, 2021, to March 27, 2022: 15 cruises to the eastern, western, southern and tropical Caribbean ranging from seven to 11 days.

• All itineraries include a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's private Bahamian island. This quintessential sanctuary features the finest beaches in the Caribbean; a natural 700-acre lagoon; incredible two-story villas and private cabanas; delicious dining venues like Lobster Shack; and a variety of fun-filled shore excursions for nature lovers, adventurous travelers and explorers.

Princess Cruises Continues Plans to Resume Cruising in United States
Following collaboration with government officials, and evolving guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Princess is announcing its intent to return to service in the United States sailing from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Ft. Lauderdale this fall.

Starting between September 25 and November 28, 2021, cruises onboard eight Princess MedallionClass™ ships will once again take guests to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii, and the California Coast.

• Majestic Princess and Grand Princess: Los Angeles once again provides the springboard to a variety of destinations, including the California Coast and Mexico on seven-day cruises, and the Islands of Hawaii on 15-day cruises. Also available are three- to five-day Getaway cruises to the California Coast and Mexico.

• Ruby Princess: Sailing out of the iconic Port of San Francisco, Ruby Princess will start with seven-day California Coast cruises before adding 15-day cruises exploring four distinct island jewels in Hawaii and 10-day Mexico cruises to the lineup.

• Enchanted Princess: Begins with two brand new cruises from Ft. Lauderdale to start her existing inaugural season of 10-day cruises to the Southern and Eastern Caribbean.

• Sky Princess, Regal Princess and Caribbean Princess: From Ft. Lauderdale, guests can island hop through the Caribbean with three-, five-, seven- and 14-day cruises available in the Eastern Caribbean that visit some of the best-known beaches in the world and the Western Caribbean that allows guests to explore Ancient Mayan Ruins and the beauty of unspoiled coral reefs and underwater caves.

• Crown Princess: Travels to the Panama Canal, from Ft. Lauderdale on a series of 10-day cruises to this iconic cruise wonder of the world.

"As we continue our return to service, it is a thrill for us to be able to bring more cruise vacation options to our travel-starved guests," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "We appreciate the support of government and port officials who we worked closely with to make these travel opportunities available, in a thoughtful and safe way, for our guests."

Dining, entertainment, and shore excursion details are currently being finalized and will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Princess cruises sailing through 2021 are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. Crew vaccinations will be in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Viking Prepares To Launch New "Welcome Back" Voyages From Valletta
Viking announced today new details about its upcoming Welcome Back voyages in the Mediterranean that launch in July 2021. Over the course of summer and early fall, Viking will homeport three sister ships—the Viking Star, the Viking Sea and the company's newest ship, the Viking Venus—for three different 11-day itineraries that explore the Mediterranean, roundtrip from the Maltese capital city of Valletta, a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Viking also announced today that it has partnered with Lufthansa to offer non-stop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Malta, exclusively for Viking guests.

Viking's announcement comes as the Maltese Government has eased rules for the arrival of international travelers, including Americans. Like many countries, Malta has developed a traffic light system for arriving travelers. Beginning today, June 17, Malta has added most U.S. states and territories – covering the vast majority of the population – to its "Amber List." Travelers from the Amber List may arrive in Malta with proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test having been conducted at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Full details of Malta's Traffic Light System for travelers can be found on Visit Malta's website here. Yesterday, the European Union recommended that its member countries begin lifting restrictions on American travelers, with a formal announcement expected on Friday. Additionally, on June 7, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it has eased travel recommendations for 110 countries and territories. As part of the new recommendations, the CDC specifically ranked Malta as "Level 1" or the lowest for risk of COVID-19.

"Now that we have successfully restarted operations, welcoming guests back on board in England and in Bermuda, we look forward to launching our new voyages from Malta. We applaud the government of Malta for being such a supportive destination partner and for making the arrival and embarkation process even easier for our guests," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "With its rich history and stunning natural beauty, Malta is truly a gem in the Mediterranean that many American travelers have yet to discover. With our new Welcome Back voyages, combined with Lufthansa flights from Newark exclusively for Viking guests, there has never been a better opportunity to explore the Mediterranean from Malta."

Viking successfully restarted operations in May and has been sailing in England with British guests since May 22. Nearly 100 percent of guests on these sailings provided exceptionally high ratings. Yesterday, the company welcomed its first American guests back on board in Bermuda for the first of eight sailings of Bermuda Escape. Later this month, Viking will launch Welcome Back sailings around Iceland.

With space selling fast, there are limited dates still available in summer and early fall 2021 for Viking's Welcome Back voyages in the Mediterranean, which include:

Mediterranean Voyages Beginning in July 2021

• Malta & Adriatic Jewels (11 days; Valletta to Valletta; Croatia, Montenegro & Malta) – Discover Malta's millennia of history and visit ancient UNESCO sites. Explore Croatia's captivating coastline and some of the great iconic cities of antiquity. Stroll the majestic city walls of Dubrovnik and visit Diocletian's Palace. Or immerse yourself in nature and the great outdoors during a visit to Krka National Park. Join us for a fascinating journey as you witness rolling landscapes and ancient architectural treasures along Adriatic shores. Multiple sailing dates July through October 2021.

• Malta & the Western Mediterranean (11 days; Valletta to Valletta; Italy, Spain & Malta) – Traverse the historic and heritage-rich waters of the Western Mediterranean during a 10-night roundtrip voyage from Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will discover the magnificent Amalfi Coast from elegant Naples, gateway to Pompeii, and visit Messina, Sicily's cultural crossroad. See the storied sites of ancient Rome and immerse in Tuscan Florence and Catalonian Barcelona's art and architecture during your unforgettable journey. Multiple sailing dates in September and October 2021.

• Malta & Greek Isles Discovery (11 days; Valletta to Valletta; Greece & Malta) – Immerse in the ancient world as you discover the early empires of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. Visit historic UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Maltese capital of Valletta and Rhodes' Palace of the Grand Masters. Enjoy dramatic views of the Parthenon in Athens, uncover the mysteries of the Minoans on Crete and admire the white facades and azure domes of the clifftop villages of Santorini during this enchanting voyage through the centuries. Multiple sailing dates July through September 2021.

AIDA Cruises Will Sail to 20 Countries and Four Continents on AIDAsol's new World Cruise
After the great success of past world voyages, AIDA Cruises today announced that AIDAsol will sail its first world cruise in winter 2022-2023, a 117-day adventure that includes rounding Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope and visiting destinations such as Glacier Alley, Tierra del Fuego, Mauritius, Cape Town and New Year's Eve in Sydney. In addition to popular destinations, AIDAsol will make first-time port calls at Suva in Fiji, Nuku'alofa in the Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga, Mystery Island in Vanuatu, Île des Pins in New Caledonia and Geraldton in Australia.

From October 26, 2022, AIDAsol will call at 43 ports in 20 different countries on four continents, pass the International Date Line and cross the equator twice. From Hamburg, the ship will first set course for South America. After calls on the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands, dream destinations such as Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Ushuaia and Chile await guests.

From there AIDAsol continues westward to Tahiti, Bora Bora, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu (Christmas), New Caledonia and Australia to Mauritius. Guests welcome the New Year against the magical backdrop of Sydney.

The last leg of the voyage takes guests aboard AIDAsol via La Reunion to South Africa and Namibia. On the way back to Europe, travellers visit Tenerife and Madeira. The voyage continues via Lisbon and Cherbourg/France, to Hamburg, where it ends on February 20, 2023.

In addition, three legs of the world cruise can be booked. The duration of the voyage varies between 30 and 48 days -- a perfect opportunity to fulfil the dream of a unique voyage in shorter stages. For example, AIDA guests can travel from Hamburg to San Antonio in 36 days, from San Antonio to Mauritius in 48 days or from Mauritius to Hamburg in 33 days.

The world cruise with AIDAsol as well as the partial routes can be booked from June 17, 2021, at travel agencies, at www.aida.de as well as at the AIDA Customer Center at 0381/ 20270707.

The originally planned world cruise with AIDAsol from October 2021 to February 2022 will be postponed. As an alternative, AIDA welcomes guests who had been booked on that cruise to rebook the world cruise from October 2022 to February 2023 with an attractive on-board credit.

P&O Cruises Announces 2021 Deployment
P&O Cruises has announced its expected deployment and phased re-start plan for the remainder of 2021 and into early 2022.

Britannia will begin the planned western Mediterranean itineraries on September 25 and Iona will start her Atlantic coast holidays from the same date. These cruises will follow the series of UK coastal cruises beginning in June.

Ventura's first cruises will be the planned programme of Atlantic islands holidays from October 3.

Following the Mediterranean season, running until October, Britannia will reposition to the Caribbean for her winter season as scheduled, followed by Azura which will begin Caribbean fly/cruises slightly later than published from December 10, 2021.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: "We are very much looking forward to getting Britannia and Iona back to sea for the series of UK coastal cruises – staycations at their best - which are certainly proving very popular and then beginning our international re-start as we phase in each of the other ships.

"As we know the UK Government has developed a traffic light system for holidays abroad this summer. The current situation means that whilst unfortunately there will be a number of cancellations of itineraries on some ships, we are looking ahead and planning for the future with vigour.

"We are confident that destinations will soon open up their borders both for UK travellers and also for cruise ships. Spain and its islands and the Caribbean are both looking very positive and we are seeing, one by one, countries publicly looking forward to welcoming us back."

The length and complexity of Arcadia and Aurora's planned long haul cruises from January next year has forced their cancellation and these two ships will not begin sailing until next year. However a replacement itinerary for Aurora, with winter sun appeal, will be announced shortly.

In addition, following ongoing guest feedback P&O Cruises has reviewed its vaccination policy. For all cruises departing from September 25 to December 31, 2021, all guests 18 years old and over will be required to have completed their vaccination course a minimum of 14 days prior to sailing. All guests 17 years old and below will need to have completed their vaccination course a minimum 14 days prior to sailing or will require a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to travel. All guests will also require a negative COVID-19 test at the terminal. The PCR and COVID-19 test at the terminal will be provided on a complimentary basis. This vaccination and testing policy will be reviewed on a regular basis as the global situation continues to evolve.

The vaccination policy for the UK coastal cruises until September 24 2021, remains that all guests travelling, of all ages, must have completed their vaccination course a minimum of seven days prior to sailing (or 14 days prior to sailing if an approved single dose vaccine).

All guests who have had their cruise cancelled will automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit worth 125% of the standard deposit terms, and 100% of any additional monies paid. This Future Cruise Credit can be redeemed against any new booking made by the end of December 2021, on any cruise on sale at the time of booking. Cruises currently on sale run through to April 2023.

Hurtigruten Expeditions Continues Expansion
Hurtigruten Expeditions announced this week that it is expanding its global offering to one of the most iconic destinations on the planet: The Galapagos Islands.

Famous for its unique nature and wildlife, the isolated archipelago some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador has mesmerized travelers and scientists for centuries. From January 2022, Hurtigruten Expeditions will expand its breadth of destinations to include the Galapagos Islands offering modern-day explorers in-depth adventures described as 'beyond imagination'.

"We are extremely excited to expand our South America offering to one of the most spectacular destinations on the planet. We have seen a clear trend of travelers seeking out truly unique and meaningful travel experiences, with a sharp increase in demand for the type of small ships / big experiences we offer. The pandemic has dramatically pushed this development forward. There is huge pent-up demand for traveling right now, and we are responding with this breathtaking new destination," said Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

To offer guests one-of-a-kind experiences, Hurtigruten Expeditions has entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Ecuador-based Metropolitan Touring, the most experienced and renowned travel company in the Galapagos.

Guests will explore the Galapagos in style and comfort onboard the fully upgraded 90-guest MS Santa Cruz II, adding to Hurtigruten Expeditions' growing fleet of small purpose-built expedition cruise ships.

"This partnership brings together two companies that combine the best of two worlds: Hurtigruten Expeditions as a global player with an excellent reputation in expedition cruises, and our long history and deep knowledge of the Galapagos Islands. We are really excited to welcome the first Hurtigruten Expeditions' guests on board," said Metropolitan Touring CEO Paulina Burbano de Lara.

Metropolitan Touring has offered intimate and unique encounters with the islands' wildlife since they pioneered expedition cruises in Galapagos almost 70 years ago. Hurtigruten Expeditions pioneered expedition cruises in 1896 and has since grown to the world's largest expedition cruise line.

"This is a significant milestone in our 125-year history of exploring. The Galapagos is one of the world's ultimate expedition cruise destinations. It is a perfect match between two companies with a proud history, strong heritage, and passion for the well-being of our oceans and our planet," said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen.

Starting from January 5, 2022, Hurtigruten Expeditions will offer nine-day adventures, visiting some of the most spectacular and iconic sites of the archipelago onboard MS Santa Cruz II, as well as two nights in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito before the six-night cruise. The package also includes a full-day visit to the Cotopaxi National Park, home to the Cotopaxi volcano, the highest active volcano in South America. It is also possible to add a four-day pre-program to Machu Picchu in neighboring Peru before embarking on the Galapagos adventure. To book, please visit Hurtigruten.com, call 866.662.0371 or contact your preferred travel agent.

As part of the partnership, the MS Santa Cruz II – including all suites and cabins, explorer lounge, dining room, bar, and other public areas - will be fully upgraded. A Hurtigruten Expeditions hallmark, a Science Area, will also be added, where guests and the onboard expedition team will create an even deeper understanding of the wonders they explore.

"Our unmatched experience in the Galapagos has enabled us to design and perfect the ideal way to explore the archipelago. Our itineraries are based on the concept of seeing as many of the 'Big 15' species as possible, with exclusive island and site visits. There really is no better way to see the islands," said de Lara.

With both companies sharing common values in investing in sustainability, all Hurtigruten Expeditions cruises to Galapagos are carbon neutral. Hurtigruten Expeditions guests will contribute directly to the protection of biodiverse forests in northwestern Ecuador, named a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 2018.

"The Galapagos has long been regarded as one of the world's greatest natural sanctuaries. It's wild, isolated, diverse, and safe. As in all destinations, we will be working closely with local communities to ensure we play a positive role in long-term sustainability," said Lassesen.

Cruise highlights include exploring the Giant Tortoise breeding center, getting close to sea lions and land iguanas, bird watching, kayaking, and snorkeling, as well as daily lectures to better understand the islands, their history, and animal population both above and below the sea. Overall, the Galapagos is home to more than 9,000 species of wildlife, many of which are native only to the remote archipelago.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 28.67 - 0.28%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.40 - 0.63%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.61 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 31.38 + 1.23%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
For safety and speed reasons, the SS United States, once the fastest ship afloat, was constructed almost entirely of aluminium and steel. In fact, it was said that there were only two items made of wood on board the entire ship. What were those two items?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the former Holland America liner that along with QE2 ended up being one of last two passenger ships to cross the Atlantic on a regular basis. What was her name when she was retired in 1988 and whom did she sail for?

Answer - It was the Stefan Batory of the Polish Ocean Line. It was the former Maasdam of 1952 of the Holland-America-Line and replaced the Batory of 1936.
courtesy of Peter Lemcke-Braselmann


Cruise News - Jume 14, 2021

Viking Continues Successful Restart In Bermuda
Viking welcomed American guests on board for the first time in 15 months today in Bermuda, as the company continues its successful restart of operations. Guests boarded the award-winning Viking Orion in Hamilton and will sail the new Bermuda Escape itinerary. Offered as part of Viking's Welcome Back collection, exclusively available for vaccinated guests, this is the first of eight roundtrip sailings from Hamilton planned for summer 2021. After departing the capital city, the eight-day journey continues with scenic sailing around the British island territory and an overnight call in King's Wharf.

"Today is an extraordinary milestone as the world continues to reopen for international travel. On behalf of the entire Viking family, we are delighted to welcome our loyal American guests back on board," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We applaud the government of Bermuda for its collaboration and support as we have restarted our operations. Bermuda has been a favorite destination among our guests since our ocean ships began calling there in 2017, and we look forward to introducing even more Viking guests to the island's history, culture and phenomenal natural beauty."

Viking successfully restarted operations in May and has been sailing in England with British guests since May 22. Later this month, Viking will launch Welcome Back sailings around Iceland and in the Mediterranean – and will restart its European river operations in July 2021 with select itineraries in Portugal, France and along the Rhine.

Those who sail Welcome Back voyages will also experience Viking's industry-leading health and safety program. Grounded in scientific research, the Viking Health & Safety Program was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking's Chief Health Officer. Dr. Bono is a board-certified trauma surgeon and retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps—and most recently led Washington State's medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing a full-scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship—and a strong network of dedicated shoreside labs for Viking river ships in Europe—all guests and crew will receive frequent quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests. New air purification technology has also been installed on all Viking ships, which have always featured independent air handling units for all guest staterooms. And additional health checks, sanitization and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking guests and crew at all points of the journey.

Royal Caribbean Makes Long-awaited Return To The Caribbean
A milestone more than 15 months in the making: Royal Caribbean International and the communities of the Caribbean are celebrating the cruise line's highly anticipated return to the region as Adventure of the Seas prepares to set sail from Nassau, The Bahamas yesterday. The first of Royal Caribbean's ships to resume cruising in the Western Hemisphere, Adventure welcomed more than 1,000 vacationers on its opening cruise. The ship set sail with fully vaccinated crew and fully vaccinated guests 16 years of age or older, who make up 94% of all guests on board while the remaining 6% are children younger than 16. The ship now begins a summer lineup of 7-night sailings to Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's game-changing private island destination in The Bahamas; Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas; and Cozumel, Mexico.

"The return of Adventure of the Seas marks a start in the tremendous step forward our guests have been waiting for and we've been working toward for more than 15 months. This is all possible thanks to the government of The Bahamas, the support of our partners and the hard work of our teams across Royal Caribbean," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "We are excited to welcome back our guests and crew, and help our Caribbean family regain the benefits of tourism their communities depend on. This is just the beginning, as we get ready to set sail from the U.S. for the first time on July 2."

Hot on the heels of the cruise line's return to the Caribbean, 11 Royal Caribbean ships are set to cruise from the U.S. and Europe once again, beginning in July and August. The complete lineup of Royal Caribbean's 2021 cruises is available here.

Vacationers sailing on Adventure can cruise with peace of mind, knowing that all crew members and guests are tested and fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Travelers 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated, and as of Aug. 1, guests age 12 or older. Vacationers younger than the eligible age must undergo testing and follow other protocols. The vaccine requirement is one of the many layers of measures that safeguard the well-being of our guests and crew as well as the communities we visit. These additional health and safety protocols include our fully vaccinated crew, testing, the robust onboard ventilation system, enhanced cleaning and sanitization

Carnival Cruise Line Confirms First Sailing For Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line today laid out plans for its next wave of the summer restart of guest operations, including the first cruise for Mardi Gras and the return of additional ships in August. Highlights of the plan include:

• Mardi Gras will start operating her seven-day cruises from Port Canaveral on Saturday, July 31, with pre-inaugural sailings to the eastern and western Caribbean.

• Carnival Magic will return from her dry dock – and with her new hull design – and homeport from Port Canaveral where she will pick up four- and five-day cruises to The Bahamas and Caribbean that were previously scheduled for Carnival Elation, effective Aug. 7 through Oct. 7. Guests already booked on Carnival Elation will be re-accommodated on Carnival Magic, and because she is a larger ship, additional stateroom inventory is being made available on Carnival.com and other sales channels. Carnival Magic will also operate three new six-day cruises and one new eight-day cruise from Port Canaveral between Oct. 11-31.

• Carnival Sunrise will enter service from Miami, effective Aug. 14, sailing four- and five-day cruises to The Bahamas and Caribbean.

• Carnival Panorama will enter service from Long Beach on Aug. 21, sailing her seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises.

• Carnival Vista and Breeze (from Galveston), Carnival Horizon (from Miami) and Carnival Miracle (from Seattle to Alaska) will continue with their cruises through August that are part of the line's restart plans in July.

Given the above plans, Carnival has extended its pause for other ships through Aug. 31, 2021, as follows: Carnival Pride (Baltimore), Carnival Sunshine (Charleston), Carnival Dream (Galveston), Carnival Ecstasy (Jacksonville), Carnival Liberty (Port Canaveral), Carnival Conquest (Miami), Carnival Sensation (Mobile) and Carnival Glory (New Orleans). Guests and travel agents are being advised of the August schedule plans and Carnival will be providing more details directly to them next week on guidelines and protocols. Carnival plans to operate these August sailings with vaccinated guests.

"We are very excited to finally welcome guests on Mardi Gras," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "With our desire to preserve summer vacations for our Mardi Gras guests, we are going to find a later date to formally christen her so that we can operate these pre-inaugural sailings just as soon as we can."

Duffy also noted that Carnival intends to expand its initial restart from Florida, Texas and Washington to California, with the return of Carnival Panorama from Long Beach in late August. "We are excited to resume our West Coast operations and intend to sail Carnival Panorama with vaccinated guests starting August 21. We are working with state and local officials to finalize the necessary plans," Duffy said.

Carnival will continue to ramp up more ships and homeports in September and beyond, bringing hundreds of crew on board each week to be vaccinated, complete CDC-mandated quarantine and then begin work to prepare for guests and the return to guest operations.

"Our focus remains on the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve and visit," said Duffy. "We are taking a deliberate approach so we can execute with excellence and deliver a fun experience to our guests, who have been tremendously patient and supportive throughout this pause."

Cunard Announces New Itineraries, Cancellations Across Fleet
Cunard resumes operations from July 19, 2021 as Queen Elizabeth welcomes guests on board for a series of UK voyages from Southampton, England; and beginning October 13, 2021, sailing internationally with new voyages including to the Iberian coast and the Canary Islands. Queen Elizabeth will then leave the UK in mid-February to resume her previously scheduled season in Japan from April 13, 2022.

Queen Mary 2 will resume sailing with a Transatlantic Crossing on November 14, 2021 as per her existing schedule, and will now sail on a series of voyages around the Caribbean between January and April 2022, with embarkation options from Southampton, New York and Hamburg before resuming her existing published schedule on April 24, 2022.

Queen Victoria will embark on three new voyages departing from Southampton from April 22, 2022 which includes Western Europe, the Baltics and the Iberian Coast before resuming her existing published schedule on May 20, 2022.

"On July 19 Queen Elizabeth's crew and I will be welcoming guests on board as at long last we start our return to sailing," said Simon Palethorpe, president of Cunard. "This will be a momentous day for Cunard as after a long pause we finally get back to doing what we love doing, hosting guests for fantastic vacations. To say we cannot wait would be an understatement!"

"Sadly, the path for a return to sailing across international waters is less clear and we are extremely sorry for the huge disappointment cancellations will cause for all guests who have been affected. Unfortunately, there are simply too many international ports of call affected by the ongoing complexities of COVID-19, which has sadly led to this decision."

"We're really excited about the new itineraries mentioned, such as Queen Mary 2's sailings around the Caribbean, and hopefully these will appeal to those looking for some much needed winter sun and those looking for adventure later this year and in 2022."

Due to the ongoing complexities of navigating global travel, Cunard has today announced that they will be cancelling the following voyages:

Queen Elizabeth's sailings from the UK to Australia and her homeport season in Australia from October 18, 2021 up to and including March 9, 2022.

World Voyages on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria in 2022 are now cancelled.

Queen Victoria's sailings from September 10, 2021 up to and including April 29, 2022 are now cancelled.

However, five of Queen Victoria's sailings will transfer onto identical voyages on sister ship Queen Elizabeth. These voyages are V126, V128, V129, V130 and V201.

All guests whose cruises have been cancelled will automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit worth 125% of the standard deposit terms, and 100% of any additional monies paid.

Alternatively, 100% refund is available through completing the form on www.cunard.com

Holland America Line Updates Summer 2021 Europe Cruise Schedule
While Holland America Line continues to work with governments and port authorities in correlation with the phased resumption of cruising, it is canceling the remainder of the summer 2021 European sailings aboard two ships, Nieuw Statendam and Volendam. This affects cruises that were scheduled to depart from September through November, along with the Collectors' Voyages (combined cruises) associated with those departures.

In addition, after an expected on-schedule delivery from the Fincantieri shipyard July 30, Rotterdam will remain in non-guest operations until its Sept. 26 cruise from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Plans for Rotterdam's naming ceremony are being finalized.

Guests currently booked on canceled Nieuw Statendam and Volendam departures automatically will be moved to a 2021 cruise on Eurodam in the Mediterranean, beginning with the Aug. 15 cruise through the Oct. 30 transatlantic crossing, and receive a $100 Onboard Spending Credit per person.

Nieuw Statendam and Volendam guests also can choose to move to an equivalent cruise in 2022 at the 2021 fare or receive a Future Cruise Credit of 110% of any cash paid that will be placed in the guest's loyalty account.

Guests currently booked on a canceled Rotterdam voyage may select an equivalent sailing in 2022 at the 2021 fare paid, or they can choose to receive a Future Cruise Credit of 110% of any cash paid.

Any guest on a canceled voyage also can request a full refund of all monies paid to Holland America Line.

Seabourn Announces "Extraordinary Expedition" Itineraries To Antarctica, Amazon
Seabourn has unveiled new "Extraordinary Expedition" itineraries in Antarctica and the Amazon for Seabourn Venture, ideal for travelers seeking a sense of exploration, with voyages scheduled for fall 2022 through 2023. Between November 2022 and April 2023, the line's first of two ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships will sail the west coast of South America, cross the Drake Passage to Antarctica, tuck into remote South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, and explore deep into the Amazon River all the way to Peru, with untouched destinations for guests to experience throughout.

The new 2022-2023 itineraries include 15 distinct 10- to 21-day Antarctic and Amazon expeditions, with extended voyage options available up to 30 days in length. All Extraordinary Expeditions will feature a variety of opportunities for travelers to discover diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes, and learn about natural wonders, fascinating history, and enduring cultures and traditions.

"Seabourn Venture is the first-ever full luxury, purpose-built expedition ship," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We are looking forward to returning to South America in 2022 and 2023."

Seabourn expedition itineraries come alive through a world-class expedition team of 26 highly regarded wilderness experts, scientists, historians and naturalists on board. These fascinating, accomplished experts are also part of the Seabourn Conversations program, providing in-depth insights into the history, ecology and culture of the places they visit.

Highlights from Seabourn Venture's itineraries from late fall 2022 into spring 2023 include: Chilean Fjords, Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands
Between November 2022 and February 2023, Seabourn Venture will invite travelers on adventures of discovery cruising scenic sounds, fjords, channels and glaciers in Chile, sailing to Antarctica, and crossing back to explore South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. The ship will sail on nine voyages, ranging from 10 to 21 days, to "The Great White Continent" that will include multiple daily operations using the Zodiacs for landings and Zodiac cruises along the Antarctic Peninsula. Optional excursions will also be available, such as kayaking and the ship's submarines, allowing guests to explore the vast frontier below sea level. Guests can look forward to viewing myriad species of penguins, seals and whales; visiting sites of historical and geological interest; gaining firsthand insights into regional scientific research; and enjoying scenic cruising of spectacular waterways and passages.

Two of the Antarctic voyages will also include visits to South Georgia, one of the most far-flung destinations on Earth teeming with massive populations of penguins, fur seals, elephant seals and seabirds. Each of these voyages will also visit the Falkland Islands, located about 400 miles off the southeast coast of South America. Based on the day's weather and most favorable anchorage positions, Seabourn Venture may call at: Saunders Island, the site of Port Egmont, established in 1765 as the first British settlement in the Falklands; Steeple Jason Island, a protected nature reserve highly prized for its exceptional abundance of wildlife, including the world's largest colony of black-browed albatrosses; West Point Island, where guests can meet the Napiers, the island's only occupants and visit rockhopper penguins; and New Island, one of the most remote of the inhabited islands, which lies on the western fringe of the archipelago and supports some of the largest concentrations and diversity of wildlife in the Falklands.

Brazil & The Amazon
In March and April 2023, Seabourn Venture will embark on a series of four 10- to 12-day expedition voyages in Brazil and the Amazon. The ship will visit many colorful colonial cities on the coast of Brazil and sail into the heart of South America through one of the world's greatest rivers, where guests can cruise in Zodiacs along the Amazon River and visit ancient sites and indigenous villages. The voyages will explore a variety of environments shaped by the mighty river itself, cutting through three major regions: Flooded Forests and Blackwater Tributaries – Manaus, Brazil to Rio Jutaí; The Frontier Amazon – Rio Jutaí to Leticia, Colombia; and The Seaport in the Jungle – Leticia to Iquitos, Peru. Guests may also book back-to-back cruises for a longer and more immersive voyage lasting up to 22 days.

Adventures await
Featuring 132 oceanfront suites each, Seabourn Venture and its sister ship are being designed from conception for expedition travel blended with ultra-luxury and personalized service by a world-class team of professionals with great depth of experience in expeditions, hospitality and luxury cruising. Hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany is fashioning the indoor and outdoor guest areas for the ships. Both ships will be designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include a plethora of modern hardware and technology that will extend the ships' global deployment and capabilities. Two custom-built submarines will be carried on board, in addition to expedition kayaks and 24 Zodiacs that can accommodate all onboard guests at once.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 28.75 - 6.93%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.95 - 6.91%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.61 + 10.91%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 31.00 - 6.37%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the former Holland America liner that along with QE2 ended up being one of last two passenger ships to cross the Atlantic on a regular basis. What was her name when she was retired in 1988 and whom did she sail for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Holland America's Volendam and Veendam of 1971 both started life sailing under different names for a different cruise line. What were their original names and what line did they sail for?

Answer - The Volendam and Veendam previously sailed as the Argentina and Brasil for the Moor-McCormack line. They were built in 1958.
courtesy of Larry Macdonald, Belmont, MA


Cruise News - Jume 7, 2021

Mardi Gras Makes U.S. Debut, Docking In Port Canaveral For The First Time
Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras, made her U.S. debut this morning, docking for the first time at Port Canaveral's Cruise Terminal 3, built specifically for this vessel which is the first in the Americas powered by eco-friendly Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and features the first roller coaster at sea.

Port Canaveral-based Carnival Freedom and Carnival Liberty joined Mardi Gras as she made her way down the cruise channel, creating a truly grand and memorable entrance befitting this innovative, game-changing ship

More than 1,500 fans lined Jetty Park, located adjacent to the terminal, to welcome Mardi Gras to the Space Coast, while Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison, Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation COO Josh Weinstein, and Canaveral Port Authority CEO Captain John Murray, along with 300 travel advisors, partners, dignitaries and guests, participated in a welcome reception highlighting the excitement for Mardi Gras' arrival and its impact on the local economy.

A video highlighting the journey of Mardi Gras from construction to today's arrival in Port Canaveral can be viewed here.

"Mardi Gras has been five years in the making and today's arrival is a historic milestone for our company not to mention a truly emotional moment for everyone here at Carnival Cruise Line," said Duffy. "This ship offers so many innovations and ways for our guests to choose fun that we are certain that she will quickly become a guest favorite. And as we look forward to our restart in guest operations, Mardi Gras' arrival is symbolic of the excitement and anticipation we have about the future at Carnival Cruise Line."

"For nearly four years we have been working hard to prepare for Mardi Gras," said Capt. Murray. "As we welcome home this magnificent ship to Port Canaveral, we are filled with pride to see her at berth at our beautiful Cruise Terminal 3."

The company will now begin the process of ramping up Mardi Gras' crew to a full contingent of 1,750 ready to create memorable vacations for guests who will enjoy the widest array of entertainment at sea, including the first shipboard version of the hit TV show Family Feud, and dine in more than two dozen restaurants with venues from Guy Fieri, Emeril Lagasse, Rudi Sodiman and the line's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal.

Guests can enjoy a host of culinary, bar and entertainment experiences throughout 19 decks and six distinct themed zones, as well as a wide range of outdoor attractions, including the longest ropes course and largest water park in the fleet.

Mardi Gras will sail year-round from Port Canaveral, offering seven-day itineraries to the eastern and western Caribbean.

Celebrity Equinox Is The Latest Ship In The Celebrity Cruises' Fleet To Be Approved To Sail From A U.S. Port
Leading the way with the first ship to sail in North America just days ago on June 5, Celebrity Cruises' much anticipated return to sailing continues, as the new ship Celebrity Equinox has now been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to sail from Fort Lauderdale on July 25, 2021. It will closely follow Celebrity Edge's industry-first cruise departure from U.S. waters for the Caribbean on June 26, 2021. With today's announcement, nine of the 14 ships within the Celebrity Cruises' fleet have plans to return to sailing by mid-September 2021 and are ready to take guests to the stunning destinations they have missed from the Caribbean to Europe, Alaska and the Galapagos.

The recently revolutionized Celebrity Equinox will set sail on a seven-night cruise visiting the beautiful Mexican ports of Cozumel and Costa Maya, along with Nassau, Bahamas.

"It is so exciting to announce yet another ship on the heels of Celebrity Millennium leading the industry's Caribbean comeback to rave reviews just this past Saturday. From the outpouring of comments and emotion from our guests and crew on that sailing, it's clear that people are ready to cruise back to normal," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. "We've all been waiting for the day we could get away, again, to the places we've been dreaming of and that 'someday' is here."

Celebrity Equinox joins eight ships in the Celebrity fleet that have been announced as part of its phased summer restart, including:

• Celebrity Millennium, which began sailing seven-night Caribbean itineraries from St. Maarten on June 5; and will reposition to Seattle to sail seven-night Alaska Dawes Glacier cruises beginning July 23.

• Celebrity Summit will then sail the remaining St. Maarten season through August, followed by plans to sail a new series of four- and five-night sailings from Fort Lauderdale to the Western Caribbean through late October.

• Celebrity Apex – sailing seven-night Greek Isles itineraries from June 19;

• Celebrity Edge – sailing a rotating schedule of Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, beginning June 26;

• Celebrity Silhouette – sailing the UK coastline as of July 3;

• Celebrity Flora – returning to the extraordinary Galapagos islands as of July 3, followed by the award-winning Celebrity Xpedition and intimate 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration on July 24, and September 18, respectively.

Celebrity Equinox is part of a $500-million fleet-wide modernization program that has made big waves in the cruise world. Guests will enjoy elevated design concepts, including The Retreat, a private resort-within-a-resort for suite guests that includes The Retreat Sundeck and The Retreat Lounge.

In addition, the ship boasts:

• Completely redesigned, contemporary staterooms and suites inspired by award-winning British interior designer Kelly Hoppen's designs for Celebrity Edge and featuring Celebrity's eXhale bedding with its luxurious Cashmere™ mattresses;

• Stunningly reimagined restaurants, bars, and lounges offering captivating culinary experiences;

• Over 40 handcrafted boutique beer selections, creative cocktails and a wide selection of a la carte, gourmet comfort food and bar bites at Craft Social;

• A half-acre lawn of real grass at the relaxing and aptly-named Lawn Club, perfect for trying outdoor games like Croquet, or simply basking in the sunshine. Healthy at Sea

Celebrity Equinox will sail with enhanced health and safety standards that are the culmination of more than a year of diligent work with public health authorities, government agencies and its Healthy Sail Panel of scientific, medical and public health leaders.

In addition to reduced capacity to allow for more natural spacing, Celebrity has leveraged technology to create new arrival, departure and muster safety drill procedures; and updated onboard and shoreside experiences to reflect new standard health and safety practices; all with the well-being of guests, crew and the communities visited by Celebrity ships at the forefront of the planning process.

As guests and crew work together to promote onboard health and safety, more details of the new measures include:

• Vaccinated Sailings – As with all Celebrity Cruises' ships, Celebrity Equinox meets the highest standards for providing a healthy cruise experience for its guests and crew, sailing with at least 95% of crew and guests being vaccinated. As of August 1, all guests ages 12 and over must be vaccinated.

• Staggered Arrivals and Departures – Terminal arrivals and departures will be staggered by appointment, with guests having the ability to select their preferred times based on travel plans.

• Contactless Transactions – Celebrity's digitally advanced mobile app* transforms the decades-old large-group-gathering Muster safety drill into a personal eMuster experience that guests can complete on their mobile device or interactive stateroom TV, avoiding large group gatherings. The app also expedites the boarding process; and allows guests to read menus and book dining reservations and shore excursions via their smartphone.

• Appropriate Face Coverings – All guests 2 years of age and older will be required to wear an appropriate face covering in the Terminal. Once onboard, and unless otherwise stipulated by local governments in the destinations being visited, masks will not be required of vaccinated guests in accordance with CDC guidance for sailings with vaccinated crew and guests.

Celebrity's new measures may evolve in keeping with current public health standards and may vary in accordance with local guidance in the destinations visited. Guests are encouraged to regularly check the guidance on all health and safety measures across the entire Celebrity Cruises vacation experience at CelebrityCruises.com/healthy-at-sea.

Royal Caribbean Announces U.S. Comeback For Summer
Travelers can once again mark their calendars and set their sights on a summer full of long-awaited cruise vacations. Building on the excitement of its upcoming return to Alaska, Royal Caribbean International has announced that six of its award-winning ships will begin sailing from major U.S. cruise ports in Florida and Texas in July and August. The cruise line's comeback will kick off on July 2 in Miami, the cruise capital of the world, with Freedom of the Seas* embarking on a special Fourth of July weekend sailing to Perfect Day at CocoCay. By the end of August, 12 Royal Caribbean ships will be cruising once again across The Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska and Europe.

On the heels of the first cruise in Royal Caribbean's highly anticipated return to the U.S. will be the debut of the brand-new Odyssey of the Seas* on July 3. The game-changing ship will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on new 6- and 8-night Caribbean cruises, to soon be followed by Allure, Symphony, Independence* and Mariner of the Seas. In the coming weeks, the cruise line will announce its plans to reintroduce its full fleet around the globe by year's end. The 2021 summer cruises are available to book today.

"This is it. Vacationers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone. I would like to sincerely thank our guests and travel partners for their incredible patience and understanding during this very difficult period. Thanks in large part to the successful rollout of vaccines, the world of adventure is beginning to open up, and we are all excited to start delivering great vacations to our guests, who have increasingly told us they are getting vaccinated. As of today, 90% of all vacationers booking with Royal Caribbean are either vaccinated or planning to get vaccinated in time for their cruise," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "We also thank Governor DeSantis of Florida, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Broward County Mayor Steve Geller and Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority board Wayne Justice and board commissioners for their steadfast support of our industry and for providing access to vaccines to the thousands of crew on our ships off the eastern seaboard. This act of understanding and humanity has been deeply appreciated, and we are grateful for their support, which is enabling the health and safety of our guests, crew members and the communities we visit."

Royal Caribbean's newly revealed cruise vacations offer a range of itineraries that vary in length and destination, ease and flexibility in booking, and convenient departure ports across the U.S. Whether departing Florida on two of the world's largest cruise ships, cruising from Texas to discover the best of the western Caribbean or venturing out to cooler temps to explore the wilds of Alaska, there is something for everyone.

Royal Caribbean's full summer lineup:

• Freedom of the Seas* – 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Miami, starting July 2

• Odyssey of the Seas* – 6- and 8-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, starting July 3

• Serenade of the Seas – 7-night Alaska sailings from Seattle, starting July 19

• Allure of the Seas – 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 8

• Ovation of the Seas – 7-night Alaska itineraries from Seattle, starting Aug. 13

• Symphony of the Seas – 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami, starting Aug. 14

• Independence of the Seas* – 7-night Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas, starting Aug. 15

• Mariner of the Seas – 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 23

The expanded summer lineup will go beyond the U.S. to include international ports across the Atlantic, like Barcelona and Rome, when Harmony of the Seas returns to Europe. Starting Aug. 15, the Oasis Class ship will set sail on 7-night itineraries to the Western Mediterranean and visit iconic destinations like Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Provence, France.

The new U.S and Europe cruises extend Royal Caribbean's previously announced plans to return to sailing, which include Adventure of the Seas departing from The Bahamas on June 12 as well as Anthem of the Seas sailing out of the U.K. and Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus in July. The complete list of Royal Caribbean's 2021 cruises is available here.

U.S. Health and Safety Measures

Travelers can plan their cruise adventure with peace of mind knowing that all crew members will be vaccinated against COVID-19. Guests are strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols, which will be announced at a later date. Other measures in place for travelers to cruise with Royal Caribbean include:

• Vacationers sailing to Alaska who are 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 or older as of Aug. 1.

• If departing from an international port, guests must meet the travel requirements of their home country and the country of departure. The most up-to-date policies can be found online on each country's tourism site.

Royal Caribbean is continuing discussions with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and multiple state, local and port authorities in the U.S. and with various destination communities regarding the various requirements for the upcoming sailings. The current process requires each ship to complete a simulation cruise before receiving approval to resume sailing once again from U.S. ports. The applications for simulation cruises are under review and receiving approvals on a rolling basis. The progress made as a result of the ongoing collaboration with and support from the state, local and federal level continues to set the stage for Royal Caribbean to return to sailing this summer as planned. The cruise line will share updates on measures with guests and travel advisors before their departure dates.

Cruises outside of those announced today will be cancelled through the end of August. Booked guests and travel partners impacted will be contacted with further details specific to their sailing, including the option to receive a full refund. For added reassurance, all vacationers who have booked by July 31 are covered by the Cruise with Confidence program. Royal Caribbean is grateful for the patience and loyalty of its guests.

*Note: Freedom, Odyssey, Independence of the Seas' 2021 summer sailings are that of existing itineraries for the following ships: Navigator, Independence, Explorer and Liberty of the Seas, respectively. Guests booked on these ships will be automatically transferred to the new ship.

Celebrity Cruises Begins Caribbean Comeback With First Sailing From St. Maarten
With celebration and fanfare, Celebrity Cruises' much-anticipated return to cruising became a reality today, as the new-luxury Celebrity Millennium set sail from the picturesque Caribbean port of Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Both a first for the industry in North America and the first of Celebrity's fleet to return to sailing, Celebrity Millennium embarks on a seven-night itinerary visiting the treasured islands of Aruba, Barbados and Curacao, thrilling guests who have waited 15 months to experience the wonders of the world by sea.

Celebrity Cruises Begins Caribbean Comeback With First Sailing From St. Maarten Celebrity Cruises Begins Caribbean Comeback With First Sailing From St. Maarten The sailing also represents the first time Celebrity Cruises has homeported in St. Maarten, one of the most beautiful and vibrant Caribbean islands, where the cruise line now begins sailing Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries through August.

"Today, we sail, again! This is such a significant moment for our company, our industry and the Caribbean. That this day has finally arrived for our guests and our crew is truly special – beyond words, really," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. "I am so happy to have our crew back onboard doing what they love and providing amazing vacations and service to our guests. I also am extremely grateful to the leadership of the St. Maarten government for their vision and support to make this moment happen. What an honor to now be the first to enthusiastically say, once again – 'Welcome Aboard!'"

"We couldn't be more excited to welcome our guests back to relax and start enjoying the travel experiences they've been craving all this time. Once onboard, they will discover reimagined accommodation, spa and entertainment offerings, along with considered and thoughtful health and safety measures," said Celebrity Cruises Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations Brian Abel. "The end result of all that we have implemented will make cruises one of the safest ways to explore the world, while enjoying a wonderful and uncompromised vacation experience."

Celebrity Millennium Captain Theodoros Zakkas added, "For the past several months, I had the privilege of maintaining this beautiful ship with a small 75-person crew. Today, with a full crew who were all smiles as we welcomed our guests onboard once again, has been very emotional for me. It has been a beautiful and historic homecoming, one that everyone involved – guests and crew - will never forget."

Celebrity Millennium sails with enhanced health and safety standards that are the culmination of more than a year of diligent work with public health authorities, government agencies and its Healthy Sail Panel of scientific, medical and public health leaders.

In addition to launching its phased restart with reduced capacity to allow for more natural spacing, Celebrity has leveraged technology to create new arrival, departure and muster safety drill procedures; and updated onboard and shoreside experiences to reflect new standard health and safety practices; all with the well-being of guests, crew and the communities visited by Celebrity ships at the forefront of the planning process.

With the new measures, guests return to experiencing all of the distinctive touches they have come to love and expect from a Celebrity cruise: industry-leading ship design with impeccably stylish accommodations and remarkable outdoor spaces; unparalleled culinary experiences in captivating environments; impeccable hospitality elevating personal, friendly service to an art form; and a penchant for wellbeing woven into every aspect of the onboard experience.

As guests and crew work together to promote onboard health and safety, some of the new measures include:

• Vaccinated Sailings – Celebrity will sail in the Caribbean with a vaccinated crew and at least 95% vaccinated guests.

• Staggered Arrivals and Departures – Terminal arrivals and departures will be staggered by appointment, with guests having the ability to select their preferred times based on travel plans.

• Contactless Transactions – Celebrity's digitally advanced mobile app* transforms the decades-old large-group-gathering Muster safety drill into a personal eMuster experience that guests can complete on their mobile device or interactive stateroom TV, avoiding large group gatherings. The app also expedites the boarding process; and allows guests to read menus and book dining reservations and shore excursions via their smartphone.

• Appropriate Face Coverings – During the Terminal check-in and check-out process, all guests 2 years of age and older will be required to wear an appropriate face covering. Once onboard, and unless otherwise stipulated by local governments, masks will not be required in accordance with recent CDC guidance for sailings with vaccinated crew and guests.

Celebrity's new measures may evolve in keeping with current public health standards and may vary in accordance with local guidance in the destinations visited. Guests are encouraged to regularly check the guidance on all health and safety measures across the entire Celebrity Cruises vacation experience at CelebrityCruises.com/healthy-at-sea.

Azamara Reveals 2022 European Voyages
Azamara – the boutique cruise line dedicated to Destination Immersion experiences – is pleased to reveal 22 European itineraries and three new land explorations for the brand's fourth ship, Azamara Onward. Scheduled to set sail in spring 2022 for its inaugural season, Azamara will offer guests the opportunity to join Azamara Onward's maiden and christening voyage, starting in Monte Carlo and concluding in Venice. Azamara Onward will push forward the future of Destination Immersion experiences with half of its voyages being Country-Intensive? itineraries, allowing more time to explore a single country's hidden gems, and 85 late nights and 21 overnight stays in multiple cities across Europe.

"We are thrilled to introduce our fourth ship to our guests and travel partners next year and welcome them to join us for the christening of Azamara Onward on her maiden voyage," says Azamara President, Carol Cabezas. "As the leader in Destination Immersion, we look forward to connecting our guests with people and cultures of the world and bringing guests to smaller, unique ports which are only accessible to smaller ships."

The ship's inaugural deployment will unveil a series of exotic voyages ranging from 7- to 15-nights, where guests can uncover the mysteries of the Black Sea during a visit to Constanta or the famous Potemkin Stairs of Odessa. In addition, enjoy an exceptional PerryGolf Mediterranean voyage and a new selection of land explorations, including an AzAmazing Journey in Greece and another in Cappadocia, along with voyages throughout Croatia, Italy, Istanbul, Spain and more.

Highlights of new immersive pre- or post-land tours include:

• Wonderous Cappadocia (four nights pre-cruise, three nights post-cruise): Guests will enjoy Cappadocia's Goreme Open-Air Museum - a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and an evening at Cave restaurant for The Turkish Night Show. They'll also learn how exquisite Turkish carpets are hand-woven and have a chance to make pottery at a local ceramic and tile center.

• Stay Local in Istanbul (two nights pre-cruise, two nights post-cruise): Travelers can fully immerse themselves in the culture of The City of Four Empires with a half-day tour of Beylerbeyi Palace, and local food experiences including Kebap House, a meal of today's Ottoman cuisine. Followed by a cultural evening where guests will have the chance to witness a spiritual and traditional performance called The Sema Ceremony, which originated in the 13th century as a form of physically active meditation.

• Mythological Greece (five nights pre-cruise, five nights post-cruise): Travelers will have a memorable journey with this new program focused on the Greek gods, mythology and rich history of Greece. They'll will visit several archeological sites in Athens, Olympia, Delphi, and Cape Sounion, including the Acropolis and the Sanctuary of Delphi. Guests will enjoy a traditional Greek folkloric show with live music and dance and a farewell dinner at Dionysus restaurant beneath the Acropolis.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 30.89 + 4.50%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 94.48 + 1.30%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.55 + 3.77%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 33.11 + 3.79%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Holland America's Volendam and Veendam of 1971 both started life sailing under different names for a different cruise line. What were their original names and what line did they sail for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship was severely damaged and almost sank after striking ice in June of 1989?

Answer - The ship involved would have been the Maxim Gorkiy near Spitzbergen.
courtesy of Frank Russel, Washington, DC


Cruise News - May 31, 2021

Silversea Announces New Alaska And Iceland Sailings In July
Silversea Cruises has announced new summer voyages in Alaska and Iceland, starting in July 2021. With the passage of the U.S. Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, which enables cruises to Alaska without required stops in Canada, Silver Muse will resume round-trip sailings from Seattle starting July 29, making Silversea the first ultra-luxury cruise line to operate in Alaska this summer. Silver Shadow will circumnavigate Iceland with the launch of new all-Icelandic itineraries, returning to Northern Europe with three 10-day voyages from Reykjavik, beginning July 30.

"We proudly continue to lead the ultra-luxury cruise industry's healthy return to service and commend the leadership of Alaska and Iceland for taking steps to advance the safe resumption of global travel," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's President and CEO. "The return to service is fast gaining momentum, and we've seen exceptional demand for travel in Alaska and Iceland. We're eager to welcome back our guests to unlock unforgettable experiences aboard Silver Muse and Silver Shadow while contributing to the local economies of the incredible communities we visit."

ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER

Made possible by the passing of the U.S. Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, Silver Muse will set sail on round-trip voyages from Seattle as the first ultra-luxury cruise ship to visit Alaska this summer, following a varied series of 10- and 11-day itineraries. These extended voyages will enable Silversea's guests to journey to some of Alaska's most breathtaking ice structures, including the Sawyer Glacier and the Mendenhall Glacier, as well as experience the state's remarkable landscapes, wildlife, and remote communities, such as Ketchikan, Juneau, Wrangell, Skagway, and Sitka.

A diverse array of experiences are available for an additional fee in each destination in Alaska, including the following highlights. From Juneau, Silversea guests can board a helicopter to experience the world-famous Mendenhall Glacier from the air, before touching down in special glacier boots to walk across this immense ice structure, accompanied by a tour guide who will impart their knowledge on glaciers. Offering an alternative experience of the Mendenhall Glacier, travelers can also participate in a three-hour whale quest from Auke Bay, admiring the vast glacier from the comfort of a catamaran while looking out for marine animals. An onboard naturalist will explain the behavior and habitat of the wildlife guests may encounter – from humpback and killer whales to Stellar sea lions, harbor seals, and Bald Eagles. From Skagway, guests can board a vintage train for an exclusive adventure through Skagway's White Pass and Yukon Route, learning about Alaska's gold rush past while taking in the state's natural beauty.

ICELAND: THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE

According to the Icelandic Tourist Board, cruise travelers arriving in Iceland peaked at approximately 549,000 in 2019, which indicates a burgeoning demand.1 Responding to exceptionally strong guest feedback, Silversea Cruises had previously announced its largest-ever collection of voyages in Iceland as part of its voyage collection for 2021/2022. A revised collection following the pandemic, the three round-trip voyages from Reykjavik include calls in Grundarfjordur, Isafjordur, Siglufjordur, Akureyri, Husavik, Seydisfjordur, and the island of Heimaey. Circumnavigating a land of jaw-dropping natural beauty and geological wonders aboard Silversea's intimate, ultra-luxury Silver Shadow, the cruise line's guests will have the chance to marvel at volcanoes and glacier-sculpted fjords, walk across lava fields, witness magnificent waterfalls and bubbling hot springs, and so much more.

During Silversea's voyages in Iceland, guests will enjoy immersive shore excursions that are included in the fare. Highlight experiences include an insightful half-day tour from Akureyri, during which travelers will discover Iceland's vast lava fields, bubbling hot pools, hissing fumaroles, breathtaking waterfalls, and internationally-acclaimed birdlife; an awe-inspiring Puffin Tour from Grundarfjordur, during which guests will board a small boat before sailing to an island renowned for its large colony of nesting Atlantic Puffins; an all-terrain vehicle adventure from Heimaey, on which travelers will witness the spectacular beauty of the Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago and the Eldfell Volcano; an unforgettable 4x4 glacier safari with an ice cave visit; and an authentic journey into Iceland's herring tradition in Siglufjordur with a tasting.

Silver Muse and Silver Shadow are among the most spacious, luxurious ships at sea. Both feature all ocean-view suites, the personalized service of butlers, and sumptuous cuisine served in multiple restaurants. Enhancing the cruise experience are such all-inclusive amenities as round-trip economy class air (or air credit); pre- and post-cruise hotel night/s, depending on Silversea's air program schedule; transfers and luggage handling; complimentary premium wines and spirits, specialty coffees, bottled water, juices and soft drinks served throughout the ships; in-suite bars, stocked with guests' preferences; a complimentary in-suite, 24-hour dining service; onboard gratuities; and unlimited, complimentary Wi-Fi.

Royal Caribbean Group sets June return for sailing from the U.S.
Royal Caribbean Group has received approval to resume sailings from the United States after more than a year of suspended operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 26, the cruise company will mark a long-awaited return with Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Edge departing from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

"Cruising from the U.S. is back!" said Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO. "After months of working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government officials, our Healthy Sail Panel and industry partners, we can again offer cruise lovers the chance to enjoy the wonders of cruising. We are truly thankful to reach this special milestone."

The cruise company's return is heralded with a sailing on its much lauded, state-of-the-art, luxury ship Celebrity Edge. The ship was given the go-ahead by the CDC to be the first ship back in the water, meeting all new standards for delivering a safe and healthy cruise experience for guests and crew. The inaugural sailing from Fort Lauderdale sets the stage for Royal Caribbean Group to announce additional itineraries, reviving local U.S. port economies and kick-starting the rebound in cruise tourism around the world.

All sailings will depart with vaccinated crew and everyone over the age of 16 must present proof of vaccination against COVID-19; as of August 1, 2021, all guests ages 12 and older must present proof of vaccination.

Regent Seven Seas Announces Return to Sailing
Having already announced the September return of Seven Seas Splendor, Regent Seven Seas Cruises today confirmed its resumption of sailing plan for the rest fleet, which will see all five ships back exploring the oceans by February 2022.

The cruise line intends to preserve already published itineraries as much as possible, beginning with Seven Seas Explorer on October 16, 2021, from Venice, Italy, as the ship takes over five of Seven Seas Mariner's published cruises, with Mariner going into a technical dry-dock. Seven Seas Mariner will resume sailing December 18, 2021, from Miami, Florida, as will Seven Seas Navigator on January 6, 2022. Finally, Seven Seas Voyager will return on February 15, 2022 from Barcelona, Spain.

As part of the return to sail plan, 17 new sailings in Europe and the Caribbean have been created for Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Voyager, which can be viewed at RSSC.com/Regent-returns, and are scheduled to go on sale in early June 2021.

"We thought carefully about how, when, and where reuniting the entire Regent family would enable us to consistently deliver an unrivaled experience with every luxury included, as well as provide exceptional destination explorations," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "We are incredibly excited that all five of our ships will be back on the ocean by early 2022, the year of our 30th anniversary. The World's Most Luxurious Fleet is ready to return, and our crew will be there eagerly waiting to welcome all our guests back onboard once again."

In conjunction with today's announcement, and while considering the global health environment, the cruise line has canceled all sailings up to each ships' respective restart date. Guests with impacted bookings will be contacted directly or via their Travel Advisor.

"We truly sympathize with those guests who have had their much anticipated and deserved cruise experience canceled," continued Montague. "We do hope however that travelers impacted by these changes can find a new reason to sail with us on our newly created cruises in the Caribbean and Mediterranean."

With Seven Seas Splendor embarking on its inaugural season on September 11, 2021 from London (Southampton), England, Regent's four remaining ships will begin their long-awaited return to the ocean from October 2021.

From spacious suites and expansive social areas, to multiple gourmet dining venues and attentive, personalized service, luxury travelers will soon be able to once again enjoy Unrivaled Space at Sea™ and the peace of mind that comes with the multi-layered SailSAFE health and safety program, including 100% vaccination of both guests and crew.

Seven Seas Explorer
Seven Seas Explorer will welcome back guests on October 16, 2021 sailing from Venice, Italy. She will complete two published Mediterranean voyages before crossing the Atlantic to Miami, Florida and, from November 15, 2021, sail a further two published sailings in the Caribbean. The ship then begins a newly created winter Caribbean season featuring eight new sailings, starting December 20, 2021 with a 14-night Southern Caribbean cruise. After a trans-Atlantic crossing, she will arrive back in Europe on April 10, 2022, sailing three more newly created Mediterranean itineraries before embarking on her published 2022 European summer season on May 14.

Seven Seas Mariner
Following her technical dry-dock, Seven Seas Mariner will return to sailing on a published December 18, 2021 itinerary, cruising from Miami, Florida to San Francisco, California where she will begin an epic World Cruise on January 5, 2022.

Seven Seas Navigator
Seven Seas Navigator's resumption will begin January 6, 2022 from Miami, Florida with her published 2022 Southern Caribbean winter sailings, which include multiple round-trip Barbados voyages.

Seven Seas Voyager
Seven Seas Voyager returns with five new Mediterranean voyages, the first from Barcelona, Spain on February 15, 2022, before commencing her published 2022 European summer season itineraries exploring the Mediterranean and Northern Europe from April 15, 2022.

Holland America Line's Eurodam Extends 2021 Mediterranean Cruise Season
Following a series of four cruises to Greece in summer 2021, Holland America Line's Eurodam will assume the previously scheduled cruises of Westerdam that span the Mediterranean. From Sept. 12 through its Oct. 30 transatlantic departure, Eurodam will offer five 12-day itineraries roundtrip from Venice, Italy; between Venice and Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Venice and Barcelona, Spain; or from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bookings open Thursday, May 27, for these cruises.

Guests who were booked on Westerdam cruises automatically will be rebooked on the same departure date aboard Eurodam in a comparable stateroom. As a Signature Class vessel, Eurodam has a slightly larger capacity and will be able to accommodate all Westerdam guests (Eurodam 2,104; Westerdam 1,964).

Holland America Line previously announced Eurodam would restart cruising in the Mediterranean Aug. 15, 2021, and offer three seven-day departures roundtrip from Piraeus and one seven-day cruise from Piraeus to Venice.

Mediterranean Cruise Itineraries (all cruises are 12 days):

• Sept. 12: Venice; Zadar and Hvar, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Argostólion, Crete, Rhodes (overnight), Mykonos and Piraeus (overnight), Greece.

• Sept. 24: Piraeus; Istanbul (overnight) and Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Sarandë, Albania; Dubrovnik, Korcula and Rijeka, Croatia; Koper, Slovenia; Venice (overnight).

• Oct. 6: Venice; Katakolon (Olympia), Piraeus, Rhodes (overnight), Santorini and Crete, Greece; Kotor; Korcula; Venice (overnight).

• Oct. 18: Venice (overnight); Dubrovnik; Kotor; Corfu and Katakolon, Greece; Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome), and Livorno (Pisa/Florence), Italy; Cannes and Marseille (Provence), France; Barcelona.

• Oct. 30: Barcelona, Cartagena, Malaga (Granada) and Cadiz (Seville), Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Funchal, Madeira; Ponta Delgada, Azores; Fort Lauderdale.

The 12-day cruises can be combined to form epic 24-day Collectors' Voyages that offer in-depth exploration of the region. The Mediterranean itineraries were designed to offer nonrepeating ports on back-to-back itineraries to enable guests to visit more ports and more countries on one extended voyage. Booking a Collectors' Voyage represents a significant savings off booking the two itineraries separately.

Immediately following the transatlantic crossing, Eurodam is expected to begin its scheduled Caribbean season of cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. From November 2021 through March 2022, guests can embark on seven-, 10- and 11-day itineraries that explore the eastern, southern and tropical Caribbean, as well as partial Panama Canal cruises that spend a day on Gatun Lake.

These Holland America Line cruises in 2021 to the Mediterranean are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination.

Holland America Line guests will be required to comply with all health and safety protocols in place at the time of departure for travel to and from the ship, as well as all onboard protocols and procedures for visiting ports.

Princess Statement on the Passing of Gavin MacLeod
It is with sadness felt to the depth of the oceans that we mourn the passing of actor Gavin MacLeod our beloved global ambassador, dearest friend and treasured member of the Princess Cruises family for more than 35 years.

From his 10 seasons staring as Captain Merrill Stubing on the hit TV show "The Love Boat" (1977 to 1986) and for more than three decades following the show's final season, Gavin enthusiastically shared his passion about the joys and adventures of exploring the world while cruising. He always reminded us that - like the popular TV series, "cruising gives people something to dream about."

Gavin, who celebrated his 90th birthday in February, officially became Princess Cruises' global ambassador in 1986, appearing in a vast array of advertising campaigns and countless public and media appearances for the company. His role for Princess continued until his passing.

All of us at Princess Cruises and our loyal guests around the world whom, to this day, remain avid fans of Gavin's, send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Patricia (Patti) and his entire family who have lost a loving husband, father and grandfather. We offer our sincerest gratitude to them for sharing Gavin with all of us for so many years.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 29.56 + 5.95%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 93.27 + 8.62%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.53 + 20.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 31.90 + 6.16%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cruise ship was severely damaged and almost sank after striking ice in June of 1989?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship was severely damaged and almost sank after striking ice in June of 1989?

Answer - The ship involved would have been the Maxim Gorkiy near Spitzbergen.
courtesy of Frank Russel, Washington, DC


Cruise News - May 24, 2021

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Plans Return To Cruising From The U.S.
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that it expects to resume cruise operations from the U.S. beginning Aug. 7, 2021 with week-long voyages from Seattle to Alaska, one of the top cruise destinations among its guests.

The news follows the temporary waiver of the Passenger Vessel Services Act, allowing cruising to Alaska to resume upon obtaining the pending Conditional Sailing Certificate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"). In partnership with local governments and guided by the robust protocols of the SailSAFE health and safety program, which at its cornerstone includes that all crew and guests must be fully vaccinated to embark, travelers will once again be able to explore the "Last Frontier" and all its beauty with NCL.

"Seattle has always been our second home, and we are beyond excited to return to this incredible homeport and to once again bring our guests to Alaska," said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Twenty-one years ago, we were the first to offer itineraries to Alaska from Seattle, and we continue to celebrate a strong relationship with our partners in this spectacular destination. We have been waiting for a very long time to announce a resumption of cruising from the U.S. We are so proud to be sailing for the first time in over a year from our special homeport of Seattle to the breathtaking state of Alaska."

This summer, travelers will be able to recommence their cruise adventures to Alaska with week-long voyages aboard Norwegian Bliss. She will sail revised itineraries from Aug. 7, 2021 through Oct. 16, 2021, offering seven to 13 hours of port time in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, Alaska. On select sailings, guests will also have the chance to take in the serene views of Glacier Bay National Park or the Holkham Bay Glacier Fjord.

Guests will also benefit from the opening of the second cruise pier in Icy Strait Point, which NCL's parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., developed in partnership with Alaska Native-owned Huna Totem Corporation. Initially scheduled to open during the 2020 summer cruise season, the recently expanded Wilderness Landing on Icy Strait Point caters to visitors in search of individualized experiences with the land, wildlife and native peoples of Alaska. The enhancements include upgraded retail and restaurants, as well as shore excursion offerings, including the world's largest ZipRider zip line, the most accessible coastal brown bear viewing platforms in Southeast Alaska, whale watching, fishing adventures and walking trails as well as Alaska's first gondola connecting the new Wilderness Landing development to the Adventure Landing and Historic Hoonah Packing Company Cannery. In 2022, the guest experience will continue to evolve with the opening of the Mountain Top gondola that will provide easy, vehicle-free access through the treetops, unlocking additional areas of exploration and spectacular views of icefields, the Fairweather Range and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit people.

"Alaskans are ready to welcome visitors from across the globe to Alaska, where they can personally experience the scenic and cultural wonders that can only be found here," said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. "I am grateful for the teamwork and thoughtful planning that many people from Norwegian Cruise Line, Alaska's local governments, our congressional delegation, tourism industry, and the state's public health team put into preparing for a cruise ship season that promises to be both safe and rewarding for everyone."

Norwegian Cruise Line will continue with its thoughtful approach to redeploying its fleet, working with destination partners and the leading experts of the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council. The Council will regularly evaluate the robust protocols of the SailSAFE health and safety program and make science-based decisions to protect guests, crew and the destinations it visits

Holland America Line Announces Plans to Restart Cruising to Alaska from Seattle in July 2021
Following passage of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, work with Alaska government officials, and recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Holland America Line is announcing plans to restart cruising to Alaska in July roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, aboard Nieuw Amsterdam.

The seven-day "Alaskan Explorer" itinerary calls at Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Sitka and Ketchikan. Scenic cruising in Alaska's iconic locales includes Glacier Bay and Stephens Passage.

Plans for these cruises to fulfill Holland America Line's obligations under the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) are expected to be approved, as are final instructions from CDC, and the company is beginning the return-to-cruising preparation process effective immediately.

"Holland America Line has been cruising to Alaska for nearly 75 years, and we feel deeply committed to trying to help our friends in 'The Great Land' get back on their feet in any way we can this summer," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Given the recent positive collaboration from the CDC, as well as optimism about a resolution with the PVSA, we feel like it's now or never to give ourselves a chance to bring cruising back to Alaska this year.

"We would like to offer our sincerest appreciation to Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young and Governor Mike Dunleavy for their tireless efforts on behalf of the many small businesses that are the backbone of Alaska tourism."

"The Last Frontier is eager to welcome the return of the cruise industry this summer to restart our economy," said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. "Cruising has a tremendous impact on the people of our state and our communities, especially in the southeast, and we're thrilled to finally see a light with the impending return of the cruise ships."

On board, Holland America Line will continue to offer the amenities that are a hallmark of the brand. Dining will be available in all restaurants and specialty venues, as well as room service. Entertainment will be in full swing in the main show lounge, and live music will be featured in Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King's Blues Club and Billboard Onboard. Port-to-Table culinary demonstrations and other enrichment programming will bring Alaska and its culture on board through engaging activities. To accommodate physical distancing, additional performances may be added.

Alaska cruises also feature expanded onboard programming. Guests can engage with an Alaska naturalist, while EXC Talks and special presentations explore local topics such as Alaska's bush pilots and famous Iditarod race. In Glacier Bay, the ship takes on a National Park Ranger and Huna native speaker.

Princess Plans to Resume Cruising with Alaska Sailings Departing Seattle in July 2021
Following passage of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, work with Alaska government officials, and recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Princess, is announcing its intent to return to service in the United States with a partial season of Alaska sailings from Seattle.

Departing July 25 through September 26, 2021, round-trip Seattle, seven-day cruises, onboard Majestic Princess, a MedallionClass ship, will be open for sale on May 21, 2021. These cruises will visit signature ports, glaciers and attractions in Alaska including:

• Glacier Bay National Park – this 3.3-million-acre world-renowned landmark — a UNESCO World Heritage site features the magnificent Margerie Glacier

• Juneau – the 49th state's capital city, with the chance to see humpback whales and Mendenhall Glacier

• Skagway – this Gold Rush-era town is home of the White Pass Scenic Railway

• Ketchikan – this quaint seaside port is known for its infamous Creek Street and as the salmon capital of the world

"We have been working towards this moment to return to service for over a year and starting with our Alaska cruise vacations is incredibly gratifying. We would like to offer our sincerest appreciation to Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young, and Governor Mike Dunleavy for their tireless efforts on behalf of the many small businesses that are the backbone of Alaska tourism," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "In addition, we would like to thank our long-standing partners at the CDC, and in both Alaska and the Port of Seattle who helped make this happen. Our passion has always been to provide our guests with a truly remarkable travel experience. We are thrilled to be able to do that again, safely with confidence."

Plans for these itineraries to fulfill our obligations under the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) are expected to be approved as are final instructions from CDC. Princess is continuing its return-to-cruising preparation already underway.

Dining, entertainment and shore excursion details are currently being finalized and will be communicated in the coming weeks.

"The return of the cruise industry to Alaska is great news for anyone hoping to experience the rugged beauty of the Last Frontier," said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. "More importantly, it signals a hopeful new chapter for the dozens of communities and tens of thousands of Alaskans who rely on cruise industry partners to help them share Alaska with the world."

These Princess cruises to Alaska are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. Crew vaccinations will be in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Royal Caribbean To Sail Alaska This Summer
Royal Caribbean International's U.S. comeback marks its first step forward with the cruise line's return to Alaska this summer. Today, the cruise vacation company announced plans to launch its Alaska season with 7-night cruises – roundtrip from Seattle – on returning favorites Serenade and Ovation of the Seas, beginning July 19 and August 13, respectively. After more than a year with cruising on pause and the significant impact its had on the beloved Alaskan communities, travelers can now chart a course for the culture-rich destinations they have looked forward to discovering while helping revive the local economies. The new summer 2021 Alaska cruises on Serenade and Ovation's existing sailings are available to book today.

"Any traveler who visits Alaska immediately understands how special it is, given its natural beauty, the welcoming locals, and the culture carefully preserved over centuries," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "The past year has been a challenging time for us all, and the Alaskan communities heavily reliant on cruise tourism have felt it deeply. To see the communities, industry and government successfully pass a solution that will help bring these communities back to life shows the great progress and clear paths we can make together. We are confident this is just the first part of our return to cruising from the U.S."

Serenade will begin cruising in July, sailing roundtrip from Seattle – a change from its previously scheduled homeport in Vancouver. On board, the ship will deliver awe-inspiring views from its signature ocean-facing glass elevators and floor-to-ceiling windows as guests travel from one far-flung destination to the next. The week-long itinerary features a lineup of popular ports of call, including Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, Alaska, as well as the jaw-dropping Endicott Arm fjord and Dawes Glacier.

Ovation follows suit in August for a different take on Alaskan adventure, pairing the region's natural wonders and wildlife-filled fjords with a thrilling lineup of experiences on board. From the North Star glass observation capsule to the RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator, vacationers can get their adrenaline pumping as they take in deck-defying sights of the scenic landscape and lush scenery of the destinations, such as Glacier National Park, the Inside Passage, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, from unparalleled viewpoints.

Travelers can plan their Alaska cruise with peace of mind knowing that all crew members and vacationers 16 years of age or older will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and everyone 12 or older as of August 1. Those underage will receive a test prior to sailing. These measures are part of the cruise line's Royal Promise commitment to the health and safety of every guest, crew member and community visited. The measures will be evaluated and updated as public health circumstances evolve. Royal Caribbean will continue to work closely with local health officials on specific measures outlined for the region.

Guests and travel partners impacted by the affected sailings will be contacted directly with their options. These reservations are covered by Royal Caribbean's Cruise with Confidence program.

Carnival Cruise Line Reflags Mardi Gras to Bahamian Registry
When Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Mardi Gras, arrives to her new home in Port Canaveral, Fla. on June 4, she will be flying the Bahamian flag to designate the new ship registry for the first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ship to operate in North America.

Mardi Gras has been the most highly anticipated new ship in the cruise industry for more than a year, with her arrival and inaugural impacted by the extended pause in cruise operations from U.S. ports. But with more and more hopeful signs of a return to guest operations and constructive discussions between the industry and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Carnival is moving the ship to Port Canaveral to get her ready for sailing. The ship will depart from Barcelona on May 21 to start her transatlantic voyage and eventual arrival.

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, thanked the Panama Maritime Authority for their support during the ship’s construction and registration process but said that the move to the Bahamas Maritime Authority made business sense for a number of reasons. “The Bahamas will be a frequent destination for Mardi Gras, and we are pleased to bring this new level of environmental sustainability to the many ports in the Bahamas and the Caribbean that the ship and our guests and crew will be visiting,” she said.

Upon arrival to Port Canaveral, Mardi Gras will continue to bring joining crew members on board, train them on new equipment, technology and procedures, and get ready to welcome guests for her inaugural sailing. On Sunday evening during the global broadcast of the MISS UNIVERSE competition, Carnival named Miss Dominican Republic Kimberly Jimenez as the Mardi Gras godmother. The Dominican Republic destination of Amber Cove will be among the destinations the ship will regularly visit on seven-day itineraries. Along with the new LNG technology, Mardi Gras will boast many other firsts, including the first cruise ship with a roller coaster.

Majestic Princess Crew Members Receive COVID-19 Vaccines At The Port Of LA
Majestic Princess crew members received COVID-19 vaccinations today at the Port of Los Angeles. In partnership with The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Ports America, and Metro Cruise Services, Ambulnz administered 221 COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Brenda Barnetson, Senior Director of Clinical Services for Princess Cruises, visited the crew members who volunteered to take part in an encouraging step in preparation for Princess Cruise to begin offering cruise vacations.

"We're glad to be providing the World Cruise Center as a location where our partners can vaccinate staff in preparation for the return of cruising to Southern California," said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. "This is important to the hundreds of thousands of people who enjoy cruises embarking from Los Angeles annually as well as to our local economy and job market. Each time a cruise ship calls in Los Angeles, it generates more than $1 million to local restaurants, hotels and shops."

Princess Cruises has been working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to define and manage best practices to promote the health of guests and crew as it finalizes its additional plans for return to cruising.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Details World Navigator's Spring/Summer 2022 Deployment
Adventure, nature, history, culture, golfing and fun are what's in store for travelers aboard Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Navigator in 2022. With 24 departures from March through November 2022, World Navigator will sail six- to 16-night itineraries in the Arctic, British Isles, the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and Greenland, the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, and Central and South America. Calling at smaller ports than other brands, World Navigator can ply narrow channels and shallow waters to bring travelers to authentic, off-the-beaten-path locales, as well as dock in city centers for unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experiences in remote and bucket-list destinations. All guests enjoy Atlas' All Inclusive All The Way service, which includes complimentary roundtrip air travel from 16 major U.S. and Canada gateways, choice of a complimentary shore excursion at every port, prepaid gratuities, premium wine and spirits, regionally inspired gourmet cuisine, and more. Additionally, travel advisors can take advantage of a limited time offer and earn a $200 gift card for each new booking with deposit for any of the new 2022 spring/summer itineraries aboard World Navigator. For more information about World Navigator's new 2022 season, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

"World Navigator's second spring/summer season will offer travelers more once-in-a-lifetime moments and more authentic experiences in remote and bucket-list destinations," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Guests will enjoy one of the industry's most inclusive luxury experiences with Atlas' All Inclusive All The Way service."

Travel advisors who make a new booking with deposit between May 18 through 31, 2021, for voyages departing from March 22 onward, can earn a $200 gift card for each booking. All qualifying bookings must be registered with Atlas by June 15, 2021. Travel Advisors can learn more about the new offer at Atlas Advisor Central, the best-in-class online resource dedicated for travel advisors selling Atlas Ocean Voyages at www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

Three South America voyages will start World Navigator's new season, beginning on March 22, 2022, from Ushuaia, Argentina. These six- to 13-night voyages offer a delightful contrast of vibrant cities and picturesque beaches, featuring calls at Brazil's UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Paraty, Fernando do Noronha and Salvador de Bahia. World Navigator then charts her course eastward on April 4 to the tropical island of Tenerife.

Iberian and French Wine Cultures and Mediterranean Delights
Four voyages in April, June and September bring enophiles to immerse in Spanish Andalusian, French Bordeaux, and Portuguese Algarve and Douro wine cultures on seven- to 13-night itineraries. World Navigator combines Casablanca's (Morocco) excitement with Portugal's Algarve coast on a seven-night itinerary, departing Tenerife on April 17. The subsequent voyage, also seven nights in length, brings guests up the Guadalquivir River to call at inland Seville, Spain, as well as to Gibraltar, U.K., and Spain's Costa del Sol.

World Navigator combines Bordeaux and the Douro Valley on the June 8 and September 19 voyage, the first featuring a course up the Thames, docking at the Tower Bridge in London's city center, while the second voyage includes a transit through the Kiel Canal. Both voyages include a call at idyllic Honfleur, France, for excursions to Normandy's beaches and Paris, and because of her small size, World Navigator can dock in Bordeaux's city center for convenient access to the city and beyond.

Three voyages of delight follow in May 2022, showcasing chic destinations along the Spanish, French and Italian Rivieras on eight- to 13-night itineraries. The first two voyages turn around at Rome (Civitavecchia), with the May 1 voyage covering all three Mediterranean rivieras. The May 14 departure focuses on Corsica, the Amalfi Coast and Sorrentine Peninsula. The May 30 voyage embarks at Nice, France, bringing guest via Spain's Catalonian Coast to Lisbon, Portugal.

Ireland and British Isles
Golfers and Anglophiles will revel in World Navigator's British Isles and Ireland voyages. Guests can enjoy playing the links at some of the world's most renowned courses at most ports of call on two 13-night itineraries, departing June 17 and August 13. Ports of call include the Ireland's Cork, Foynes, Galway, and Kellybegs; Northern Ireland's Londonderry and Warrenpoint; and Scottish Invergordon (Loch Ness) and Greenock. These voyages also include overnights at Dublin, Ireland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Edinburgh (Leith), Scotland.

Arctic Expeditions in the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and Greenland
From the British Isles, World Navigator continues north to the Norwegian Fjordlands and further to Svalbard, situated midway in between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole. In Svalbard, World Navigator's expedition team will find the best locations to safely catch sightings of Artic wildlife such as polar bears, walrus, bearded and ringed seals, Arctic foxes, caribou and some of the world's largest whales. Depending on weather conditions, guests can kayak and glacier hike and marvel at the Monaco or Smeerenburg Glaciers. Guests on these voyages will also earn their membership among the ranks of the Order of the Blue Nose, as Svalbard is located well north of the Arctic Circle.

Baltic Discoveries
World Navigator will offer two 12-night itineraries that feature the must-see-and-experience Baltic destinations, such as Riga, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; and Gdansk, Poland. Guests on the August 26 departure will transit the 61-mile Kiel Canal from Hamburg, Germany, into the Baltic and enjoy an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia. The September 7, roundtrip itinerary from Kiel features two nights in St. Petersburg, providing guests three days to explore the local area, as well as an excursion to Moscow, Star City and more.

South America Ecoadventures
To close the season, World Navigator will embark on five voyages, ranging from seven to 12 nights in length, which unveil the authentic cultures and natural grandeur of the Southern Caribbean, Andean cultures and Patagonia. Departing Barbados on October 18, World Navigator will bring guests to the Dutch ABC Islands, Colombia, and Panama, while the subsequent sailing features a bucket-list transit through and an overnight in the Panama Canal to bring guests on ecoadventures in Costa Rica. The November 5 voyage brings guests to explore Ecuador and Peru, which concludes with an overnight at Lima, while the following Peru and Chile voyage also begins with a Lima overnight and features a visit to Pisco (Paracas Bay), where the guests can enjoy the authentic grape brandy, which bears the city's name.

World Navigator's spring/summer 2022 season concludes with a 12-night Patagonia expedition through the Straits of Magellan from Valparaiso, Chile, to Ushuaia, Argentina. Guests will sail through the English Narrows and call at Castro, Chile, where quaint and colorful wooden stilted houses line the waterfront, and Punta Arenas, to explore Tierra del Fuego. World Navigator will also overnight at Puerto Natalas, offering guests extended time to delve into Torres Del Paine National Park, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve with its many varieties of birds and mammals.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 27.90 + 1.38%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 85.87 + 1.57%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.44 - 5.38%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 30.05 + 4.05%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cruise ship was severely damaged and almost sank after striking ice in June of 1989?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cargo liner built in 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel in Kuwait City, Kuwait?

Answer - The ship would be the SANTA PAULA which was built in 1958 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. for the Grace Line of NY. She ended her days as a hotel in Kuwait City eventually being destroyed there by the retreating Iraqis after during the Gulf War.

Her sister was the SANTA ROSA which went on to become the EMERALD owned by Louis Cruises but operated by Thompson Holidays.
courtesy of M. Dunatov


Cruise News - May 17, 2021

Viking's Newest Ocean Ship Officially Named
Viking today named its newest ocean ship, Viking Venus, with a celebration at sea in the English Channel as the ship set sail for her inaugural voyage. As part of the intimate event, the ship's ceremonial godmother, revered British journalist and broadcaster Anne Diamond, offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship—a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years.

In addition to commemorating Viking Venus as the company's newest ocean ship, today's event was also an important milestone as Viking returns to service following 14 months of paused operations. This Saturday, May 22, guests will embark Viking Venus in Portsmouth for the first of five roundtrip sailings of the England's Scenic Shores itinerary in May and June. Part of Viking's Welcome Back collection, the eight-day voyages also call in Liverpool, the Isles of Scilly, Falmouth and Portland. Anne Diamond will also join guests for the first three sailings of England's Scenic Shores and will serve as a guest lecturer with her presentation about the untold story of British radar inventors, including her father, during World War II. Anne's presentation will also be featured on Viking.TV in the future. Following her time in England, Viking Venus will then sail to Malta, where she will homeport for new Welcome Back voyages in the Mediterranean this summer and fall.

Delivered in April 2021 at Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, Italy, Viking Venus is the newest vessel to join Viking's ocean fleet of identical sister ships, which also includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion and Viking Jupiter. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking's ocean vessels have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons and with 465 all veranda staterooms that accommodate 930 guests, the ships feature clean, minimalist Scandinavian design, airy public spaces filled with natural light and abundant al fresco dining options.

"Today is one of the proudest days in Viking's nearly 24-year history. When we became the first cruise line to suspend operations in March 2020, we certainly did not know it would be 14 months before guests would be welcomed back on board. Now, we are among the first to set sail again—and with our industry-leading health and safety protocols in place, we believe there is no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "On behalf of the entire Viking family, we are delighted to celebrate the naming of our newest ship in England. We are also grateful to her godmother, Anne Diamond, for her many journalistic and selfless contributions—as well as for her tireless efforts fostering a community on Viking.TV each week for more than a year."

"It is a huge honor to be chosen as godmother to Viking Venus and to be officially part of the Viking family. Over my many years as a journalist I have reported and been part of many historic events, but I never dreamt I would be godmother to an ocean ship or that I would be celebrating the occasion with my family and friends on board the beautiful Viking Venus on the very first day that we are able to cruise again in the UK," said Anne Diamond. "It is an unforgettable experience, especially as it marks Viking's global restart. I am looking forward to many more voyages with Viking, including the upcoming sailings of the England's Scenic Shores itinerary. I am also looking forward to another year interviewing some of the world's most fascinating people on Viking.TV."

Anne continued: "I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the whole Viking family, to thank Torstein and Karine Hagen. They have worked tirelessly over the past 14 months to ensure that hope has stayed on the horizon and to keep their guests and crew connected and entertained. I find it both reassuring and inspirational to see the lengths to which Viking has gone to ensure that we can all start exploring the world again safely. Welcome back to everyone at Viking—here's to brighter days ahead. As they say at sea, 'I wish you, your guests and crew fair winds and following seas as you return to service.'"

During the naming ceremony festivities this evening, the group of invited guests on board Viking Venus enjoyed scenic sailing along the coast of England, and exclusively recorded concerts from artists that included Sissel Kyrkjebø, one of the world's leading crossover sopranos and godmother of Viking Jupiter; violinist Tor Jaran Apold; and acclaimed English boys choir LIBERA. In keeping with the naming custom, Anne assisted in breaking a bottle of Norwegian aquavit on the ship's hull—using an historic Viking broad axe to cut a ribbon that symbolically held the bottle in place. The event also honored today, May 17, as Norwegian Constitution Day and paid tribute to the Nordic spirit of exploration. Additionally, after speeches by Chairman Hagen and Anne, guests were treated to the unveiling of a custom "Air Fountain" by artist Daniel Wurtzel, which was specifically designed and installed in the ship's Atrium for the event. Best known for his kinetic sculptures and installations using air and lightweight materials that fly, Wurtzel has shown his artworks at the Musée Rodin, the Grand Palais in Paris, the Tate Modern Turbine Hall and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Costa Luminosa Restarts From Trieste
Costa Cruises announced that Costa Luminosa set sail again on May 16 from the port of Trieste, becoming the company's second ship in 2021 to resume operations and the first to resume cruises in the Adriatic Sea and Greece. Overall, Costa has a total of four ships scheduled to resume cruises this summer.

In addition to Trieste, Costa Luminosa's one-week itinerary includes visits to Bari and four beautiful Greek destinations: Corfu, Athens, Mykonos and Katakolon/Olympia. It will be available throughout the coming summer season and part of the autumn until mid-November 2021 for a total of 27 cruises.

Costa Luminosa's restart was celebrated in Trieste by Costa Cruises President Mario Zanetti, together with several local authorities, including the Mayor of Trieste, Roberto Dipiazza; the Councilor of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Pierpaolo Roberti; the Captain of the Trieste Coast Guard, Vincenzo Vitale; and the CEO of Trieste Terminal Passeggeri, Francesco Mariani.

"With the restart of the Costa Luminosa, we are finally bringing cruises back to the Adriatic Sea and Greece, one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations, and reviving a sector of great importance to the economy of many European countries, including Italy, as well as the eastern part of the Mediterranean," said Costa's Zanetti. "Just to illustrate the importance of this restart, before the pause caused by the pandemic, our company generated an annual economic impact of almost €13 billion in Europe, creating over 63,000 jobs. We are particularly pleased to be resuming from Trieste, a city that has always welcomed us warmly, and which will be the home port of Costa Luminosa not only this year, but also in 2022. We look to the future with optimism, and we are working to make Trieste even more strategic for cruises, promoting a sustainable development and a quality guest experience".

Health and safety procedures have been enhanced through the adoption of the Costa Safety Protocol, developed by the company together with scientific experts and Italian authorities, which contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore. The measures include a reduction in the number of guests; swab tests for all guests before embarkation and after half of the cruise; swab tests for the crew before embarkation and regularly during their stay on board; temperature checks every day, every time guests disembark and re-enter the ship, and every time they enter the restaurants; visits to destinations only with protected excursions; social distancing on board and in the terminals; new ways of using onboard services; enhanced sanitation and medical services; and the use of protective masks when necessary.

As for the holiday experience, guests will enjoy new features, including a renewed excursion program, which will allow them to discover off-the-beaten path destinations, exclusively for Costa guests. Guests will also enjoy new menu options that feature dishes specific to the locations that Costa Luminosa will visit.

Costa Luminosa is the second of four Costa ships that will operate in summer 2021, offering cruises in the Mediterranean. On May 1, the flagship Costa Smeralda departed from Savona with an itinerary exclusively dedicated to Italy. On June 26, Costa Deliziosa will restart with week-long cruises in Greece. July 4 will see the departure of the Costa Firenze, the new ship inspired by the Florentine Renaissance, with one-week cruises in Italy. In addition, from 3 July Costa Smeralda will begin sailing in international itineraries, with one-week cruises in Italy, France and Spain.

"Trieste welcomes the return of the Costa Cruises ships. In recent years we have developed a very important collaboration with the company that guaranteed a regular presence of Costa ships in our beautiful city. Trieste is a city with a tourist vocation and the return of Costa rewards us for the work we are doing, but above all it means that tourists are back," said the Mayor of Trieste, Roberto Dipiazza.

"The restart of Costa Cruises from Trieste is one of the many positive signs of recovery for our local economy. Trieste, as all the art cities in Italy, has been strongly affected by pandemic crisis. Now reservations are resuming and there is a gradual return to normality. Trieste and the Friuli Venezia Giulia region are ready to welcome back tourists, thanks also to the safety protocols we implemented"- said the Councilor of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Pierpaolo Roberti.

"The Trieste Cruise Terminal restarts together with the Costa Luminosa. We have done our utmost to ensure the restart of the cruises from Trieste, together with all the authorities and operators, because we are confident that it will support the tourist growth of the City and the Region" -stated Francesco Mariani, CEO of Trieste Terminal Passeggeri.

"We will contribute to implementing the Covid interdisciplinary protocol in 2021, as we did during the last year. I welcome back with great enthusiasm in my port the restart of the cruise service, which is highly strategic for the economy of our country, and I guarantee the absolute commitment of the Trieste Coast Guard Office in contributing to port operations that are strictly respectful of the special rules set up to guarantee safe cruises," - said the Captain of Trieste Coast Guard, Vincenzo Vitale.

Carnival Corporation Brands Resume Cruising in Europe, Caribbean
Seven cruise line brands from Carnival Corporation & plc have announced plans to resume guest cruise operations this summer, with AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises (UK) sailing from global ports in Europe and the Caribbean.

Additionally, as the company continues to work with authorities to resume sailing in the U.S., its Carnival Cruise Line brand has announced possible U.S. restart plans and hopes to begin operating sailings in July on three ships from ports in Miami and Galveston, Texas. The company and several of its brands are also hopeful that cruises will be allowed to sail to Alaska for part of the summer.

Collectively, the brands resuming sailings from global ports over the next several months will be using a gradual, phased-in approach, including limited itineraries that have been announced on 16 initial ships to date, representing nearly 20% of the company's global fleet. The initial cruises will take place with adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed in conjunction with government and health authorities, and informed by guidance from the company's public health, epidemiological and policy experts.

Three Carnival Corporation brands – P&O Cruises (UK), Cunard and Princess Cruises – will each offer a series of cruises this summer sailing around UK coastal waters, including the inaugural sailing for P&O Cruises' new flagship, Iona. Cruises will also resume this summer around the Greek Islands with four of the company's brands – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line and Seabourn. Additionally, Seabourn has announced plans to restart in the Caribbean with a series of new summer sailings out of Barbados.

The newly announced voyages build on recent cruising restarts from the company's Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand, which resumed in late March sailing in the Canary Islands, and its Italy-based Costa Cruises brand, which restarted in May sailing to Italian ports. In addition to dozens of successful sailings from both brands in 2020, the most recent 2021 sailings from AIDA and Costa have demonstrated the effectiveness of enhanced health protocols developed in conjunction with local, national and global experts, and have generated high guest satisfaction scores, measured by detailed net promotor surveys.

"For all of our brands, our highest responsibility and top priorities are always compliance, environmental protection, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, our shipboard and shoreside employees, and the communities we visit," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "We are excited to have the majority of our leading cruise line brands resume sailings this summer, as we are seeing strong pent-up demand from our past guests and consumers in general to get away on a cruise, one of the world's most popular vacations."

Added Frizzell: "The resumption of our cruises marks a critical step in the recovery of our brands and the industry as a whole, which provides a major economic impact and supports jobs across multiple sectors around the world. As our cruise line brands gradually resume cruising, we will continue to work as an industry to share important learnings and best practices to help ensure the resumption of cruise operations is done in the best interest of public health."

In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, as well as authorities in destination countries, the company's brands have developed a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols for protection and mitigation across the entire cruise experience for its initial cruises. This includes cross-industry learnings and best practices based on the proven health and safety record of industrywide sailings and input from top science and health experts and health authorities.

Below is a brief summary of Carnival Corporation's brands resuming guest cruise operations from global ports this summer:

AIDA Cruises
Germany-based AIDA Cruises restarted sailing in the Canary Islands with AIDAperla on March 20, with the season extending through July and offering new voyages departing from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. Two additional ships, AIDAsol and AIDAblu, will restart at the end of May in Germany and Greece, respectively, with short voyages from Kiel, Germany, starting May 22 and seven-day cruises through the Greek Islands from May 23. In July, AIDA Cruises will launch additional new voyages in Germany, with AIDAsol departing from Rostock-Warnemünde through July 18, followed by a fourth ship, AIDAprima, which will restart on July 3, offering seven-day voyages departing from Kiel through October 23. All cruises are carried out in compliance with AIDA's enhanced health and safety protocols, which have been tested by SGS Institut Fresenius, confirmed by the classification society DNV GL and are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Costa Cruises
Italy-based Costa Cruises resumed its cruise operations on May 1 with flagship Costa Smeralda sailing a week-long all-Italian itinerary, officially kicking off the brand's summer season, which will see a total of four Costa ships cruising in the Mediterranean. A second ship, Costa Luminosa, resumed sailing with week-long cruises to Greece on May 16, and will be followed by Costa Deliziosa on June 26, which will also offer one-week cruises to Greece. On July 4, the brand's new ship, Costa Firenze, will debut with a one-week itinerary in Italy, in addition to one-week international cruises from September 12 until mid-October. Alongside the debut of Costa Firenze, from July 3 Costa Smeralda will be back on international itineraries, with one-week cruises in Italy, France and Spain. All sailings will follow the procedures set out in the Costa Safety Protocol, developed by Costa together with scientific experts and Italian authorities, which includes enhanced health and safety measures for all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore.

P&O Cruises UK
P&O Cruises (UK), Britain's favorite cruise line, will resume operations with two of its ships sailing roundtrip from Southampton around the UK coast between June and September. The first of the brand's cruises is set to begin on June 27, with a series of "short breaks" on flagship Britannia through September 19. On August 7, the brand's new flagship Iona will depart on its seven-night maiden voyage around the coast of the island of Iona and the Scottish Isles, offering itineraries running to September 18. Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination program, and strong expressed preference on the part of guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Britannia and Iona will be for UK resident COVID-19 vaccinated guests only. All guests and crew will be required to follow P&O Cruises' enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone on board. These have been developed with guidance from global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies.

Seabourn
Seabourn, the company's ultra-luxury brand, will resume its cruise operations in Greece beginning July 3, with a series of sailings on Seabourn Ovation operating roundtrip from Athens throughout the Greek Isles. A second ship, Seabourn Odyssey, will restart on July 18 with a series of new summer voyages operating roundtrip out of Bridgetown, Barbados, and visiting Antigua, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and St. Kitts. These series of voyages are open to any guests who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Seabourn guests will be required to comply with all health protocols that may be in place at the time of their departure. More details on Seabourn's protocols are available here.

Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises, the world's leading international premium cruise line, will resume operations with two of its ships in the UK, with a series of Seacations on MedallionClass ships, Regal Princess and Sky Princess, sailing roundtrip from Southampton around the UK coast through late September. The first of the brand's ships, Regal Princess, will offer 14 UK voyages beginning July 31, followed by Sky Princess on August 30, which will offer eight UK cruises. Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination program and strong expressed preference on the part of guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Regal Princess and Sky Princess will be available for UK resident COVID-19 vaccinated guests only. All guests and crew will be required to follow Princess Cruises' enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone onboard. These have been developed with guidance from global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies.

Cunard
The company's Cunard brand will restart sailing for UK guests with a series of UK voyages on board Queen Elizabeth. The voyages will be roundtrip from Southampton between July and October, and include British Isles scenic sailings along Britain's coastline as well as special Sun Voyages, lasting between three and 12 nights. Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination program, and strongly expressed preference on the part of guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Queen Elizabeth will be for UK resident COVID-19 vaccinated guests only. All guests and crew will be required to follow Cunard's enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone onboard. These have been developed with guidance from global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies.

Holland America Line
Working in close coordination with the government of Greece, Holland America Line, the leader in premium cruising, will restart cruising from Athens in August with four seven-day departures aboard Eurodam. This first of the brand's voyages will depart August 15, visiting several ports in the Greek Isles. A second unique itinerary departs August 22 to a different set of Greek ports. A seven-day itinerary will also depart Sept. 5 from Athens to Venice, Italy, with calls in Greece and Sarandë, Albania. These sailings from Greece are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior embarkation and have proof of vaccination. Holland America Line guests will be required to comply with all health and safety protocols in place at the time of departure for travel to and from the ship, as well as all onboard protocols and procedures for visiting ports. Additional preventive health measures under Holland America Line's "Travel Well" program will be in place.

Oceania Cruises Unveils New OceaniaNEXT Enhancements
Oceania Cruises has announced the first in a series of inspired new product enhancements rolling out across its luxury fleet as part of its OceaniaNEXT program. With elevated dining experiences and service levels for guests, the Oceania Cruises experience will be better than ever from the first sailing on board Marina when the line resumes operations in August. OceaniaNEXT enhancements will debut aboard Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, Riviera, and Sirena as each vessel returns to sailing.

During the pause in sailing, the Oceania Cruises team has continued to invest in creative ways to evolve the onboard experience and to inspire its guests with a sweeping array of dramatic enhancements to the brand's already renowned Finest Cuisine at Sea and acclaimed service. Whether guests are in the mood for an elaborate dinner at Toscana, or prefer to indulge in the line's exclusive Dom Pérignon Experience, or crave the casual comfort of tacos or fresh poke bowls, every meal on board is given the same thought, care and creativity to ensure it is as mouth-watering as it is memorable. This is just the first of many inspirational new OceaniaNEXT enhancements to be revealed over the coming months.

"These OceaniaNEXT enhancements not only elevate the guest experience, they showcase the creativity and passion our team has for crafting unique and memorable experiences for our guests," stated Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. "We've undertaken this ambitious brand initiative to elevate every facet of the Oceania Cruises guest experience to new levels. From thoughtfully reimagined menus to enhanced service levels to the dramatic re-inspiration of our six ships, guests will find that the Oceania Cruises experience is better than ever," added Binder.

The Grand Dining Room Boasts New Appetizers, Main Courses & Diverse Sunday Brunch In The Grand Dining Room, more than two dozen inventive new dishes have made their way onto the dinner menu. New appetizers include caramelized duck foie gras accompanied by apricot infused with Loire Valley wine, and mozzarella fior di latte panna cotta with aubergines stiletto and fried focaccia. Meanwhile, main courses range from the deliciously tantalizing French monkfish with saffron-tomato-cognac-cream sauce and wild rice, to the hearty veal piccata with sweet and sour lemon sauce, glazed pearl onions and Parisian potatoes.

Other highlights from the updated menu include:

• Porcini mushroom risotto

• Crispy Mediterranean vegetable tart with balsamic onion compote

• Braised black cod, seafood emulsion, stuffed calamari and green pea purée

• Grilled prime rib with bone marrow and rustic vegetable casserole

• Carnaroli truffled risotto with smoked ricotta

• Florida lobster tail with Rémy Martin cognac sauce and rice pilaf

Sunday Brunch is an elegant yet relaxed affair in The Grand Dining Room, and the new menu has been thoughtfully crafted to include a more diverse selection of international dishes as well as a wider range of healthy options. Highlights include a new Asian Noodle Bar, a gourmet Taco Corner, a prepared-to-order Pasta Station, a healthy Smoothie Bar and a Salad Bar with an extensive selection of starches, proteins, greens and raw and cooked vegetables for guests to create their own custom salad combination.

Toscana Dinner Menu Features 21 New Dishes
Refined and romantic with a uniquely modern Italian flair, Toscana specializes in the rich and rustic regional flavors for which Italy is famous. Presented on elegant, custom-designed Versace china, masterfully prepared dishes exemplify the essence of Tuscany and celebrate Italy's culinary passion. As part of OceaniaNEXT, the line has reimagined Toscana's menu with 21 delectable new dishes including:

• Sformatino di Peperoni – roasted bell pepper flan, creamy Parmesan sauce

• Zuppa Fagioli – white bean soup with sausage and pasta

• Tagliolini Carbonara – tagliolini, pancetta, egg yolk-Parmesan sauce

• Agnello Arrosto – stuffed roasted lamb loin with spicy soppressata sausage

• Il Tiramisú ai Frutti di Bosco – red berry tiramisú with mascarpone cream

• Tortino di Cioccolata – molten chocolate fondant with Sicilian blood orange sauce

Greater Choice and Diversity in The Terrace Café and Waves Grill

The ever-popular Terrace Café has also expanded its lunch offering to include locally sourced fish, sausages and marinated meats, including regional specialties from the ports and destinations visited.

For more laidback fare, Waves Grill has added a fresh, prepared-to-order poke bowl station inspired by flavors from around the world including Japan, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, North Africa, France, the United States, and Mexico.

New Evening Canapé Choices and Elevated Service Levels
Canapés served in the lounges and bars after a day of exploring are a much-loved tradition on board Oceania Cruises. The experience now features a wider variety of selections, echoing the gourmet inspiration of the new dishes offered in The Grand Dining Room. The selections will also be presented individually to each table as part of the line's enhanced health and safety measures. Guests in Penthouse, Oceania, Vista, and Owner's Suites may choose from a canapé selection now including the addition of plant-based California rolls, a Mezze Platter and a Taco Trilogy.

Service levels have also been significantly enhanced through a combination of increased staffing and implementation of a new electronic ordering system which ensures that the taking of orders, food and beverage service and table re-setting is seamlessly streamlined. This will allow restaurant staff to focus on providing the exemplary service that guests have come to know and love.

Norwegian Prima Debuts as Brand's Most In-Demand Vessel
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is once again breaking the boundaries of conventional cruising and vacation experiences, with the reveal of Norwegian Prima, which has become the Brand's most in-demand ship ever, with record bookings on the first day and week of sales.

With voyages beginning August 2022, Norwegian Prima, the first of six ships within NCL's all new Prima Class, will offer guests exciting itineraries, the highest staffing levels and space ratio of any new cruise ship in the contemporary and premium cruise categories, and Brand-first experiences with Ocean Boulevard, Indulge Food Hall, The Concourse, Infinity Beach and Oceanwalk.

"Every aspect of Norwegian Prima, from bow-to-stern, was conceptualized with the guest in mind," said Norwegian Cruise Line's President and CEO Harry Sommer. "With this world-class ship, we are providing our guests with more wide-open spaces, elevated service, thoughtful design and a variety of experiences that go beyond expectation. Our record-breaking sales are a clear indicator of our guests' excitement to return to the ocean and of the significant demand for a premium vacation experience."

Norwegian Prima will not only offer the largest variety of suite categories available at sea but will also boast a redefined The Haven by Norwegian, NCL's ultra-premium keycard only access ship-within-a-ship concept. The Haven will feature an expansive sundeck, a stunning infinity pool overlooking the ship's wake and an outdoor spa with a glass-walled sauna and cold room.

"Norwegian Prima is already proving to be a gamechanger for NCL," added Sommer. "Norwegian Bliss, which debuted in 2018 and boasted our biggest booking day ever during her unveiling, has been outpaced by Norwegian Prima, which has doubled the prior record. In addition, nearly 20 percent of bookings are for our Haven suites, indicating the desire for top-of-the-line experiences."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 27.52 - 1.47%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 84.54 - 3.83%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.465 - 15.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 28.88 - 7.41%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cargo liner built in 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel in Kuwait City, Kuwait?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship was the first to provide passengers Internet access?

Answer - In 1999, Norwegian Cruise Lines Norwegian Sky became the first cruise ship to offer their passengers onboard Internet access.
courtesy of Herbert A Rideout, Fallbrook, CA


Cruise News - May 10, 2021

Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Norwegian Prima
Norwegian Cruise Line today opened for sale the first of six ships within its highly anticipated next class of vessels, Prima Class, the Brand's first new class of ships in nearly 10 years.

With voyages beginning in summer 2022, Norwegian Prima, the first of the six ships, will be 965 feet long, 142,500 gross tons and able to accommodate 3,215 guests at double occupancy. The vessel will be a game-changer for NCL, offering guests exciting itineraries, more wide-open spaces, thoughtful and stunning design, a variety of new experiences as well as Norwegian's exceptional service.

Norwegian Prima will offer the highest staffing levels and space ratio of any new cruise ship in the contemporary and premium cruise category, delivering an unrivaled guest experience. She will offer the largest variety of suite categories available at sea with 13 suite categories as well as the largest three-bedroom suites of any new cruise ship and the Brand's largest-ever inside, oceanview and balcony staterooms, including the Brand's largest-ever bathrooms and showers for standard stateroom categories. Norwegian Prima will also offer the most outdoor deck space of any new cruise ship including more total pool deck space than any other ship in NCL's fleet.

The Haven by Norwegian on Norwegian Prima has been elevated to offer the Brand's most exclusive and centralized suite complex. Spanning eight decks of suites and public areas, the ultra-premium keycard only access ship-within-a-ship concept provides guests with private amenities, dedicated services and the most luxurious accommodations on board. For the first time, the Cruise Line relocated all 107 Haven suites to the aft (the rear of the ship) within close proximity of private elevators exclusively reserved for Haven guests. These elevators rise directly into The Haven public areas on decks 16 and 17. For the first time, every public area in The Haven offers stunning sea and destination views. The Haven Courtyard on Norwegian Prima has been transformed into an expansive Haven Sundeck, boasting a stunning new infinity pool overlooking the ship's wake and a new outdoor spa with a glass-walled sauna and cold room.

Furthering the elevated experience that places guests first and understanding the important connection they have with the outdoors and proximity to the sea, NCL reimagined its industry pioneering The Waterfront by doubling the space and adding a greater variety of experiences and dining options than ever before by introducing Ocean Boulevard.

Located on deck eight, Ocean Boulevard at 44,000 square feet long, wraps around the entire deck, allowing guests to walk around the entire ship and experience amazing ocean views while having the choice to partake in numerous exceptional outdoor activities.

Indulge Food Hall
As part of the multifaceted experiences offered on Ocean Boulevard, NCL introduced the Brand's first-ever upscale open-air marketplace with Indulge Food Hall. Created to elevate the guest-sensory experience on Norwegian Prima, Indulge Food Hall offers visitors diverse menu items from 11 culinary venues featuring indoor and outdoor seating.

Ocean Boulevard
Adding to the culinary offerings available on Norwegian Prima's Ocean Boulevard, the site will host three additional dining venues offering both indoor and outdoor seating including Onda By Scarpetta, Los Lobos and The Local Bar & Grill.

The Concourse, Infinity Beach, Oceanwalk and La Terraza
Created to be a destination in and of itself within Norwegian Prima and furthering the elevated guest experiences available on Ocean Boulevard, the Company unveiled additional "firsts" for the Brand including The Concourse, an outdoor sculpture garden featuring seven installations that change as the sun sets, making them perfect for photos and social media posts. Guests can also relax at Infinity Beach featuring two infinity pools, one located on each side of the ship and close to the water line, which is an industry-design first. The two Oceanwalk glass bridges, also new to the Brand, will provide guests with photographic, breathtaking views. La Terraza, an open-air lounge, features a quaint retreat for visitors to catch stellar forward-facing sea views.

Carnival Cruise Line Announces New Red, White & Blue Hull Design
Following the popularity of the stunning red, white and blue livery adorning Mardi Gras, another Carnival Cruise Line ship will soon receive the dramatic hull design that will become a trademark feature across the fleet as Carnival, America's Cruise Line, prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2022.

Carnival Magic will be the first ship to receive the new livery during its current dry dock in Marseilles, France.

Paying homage to maritime tradition and patriotic colors, the eye-catching hull design is highlighted by a stately navy blue hull inspired by officers' uniforms along with vibrant red and white accents running the entire length of the 1,004-foot-long ship. Additional vessels will receive the new livery as they undergo scheduled dry docks. Carnival Glory will be the second ship to receive the new hull design during a dry dock scheduled in June.

"When we first saw the hull design for Mardi Gras, we knew it was something special and, particularly as we get ready to celebrate our 50th birthday, we're delighted to incorporate this stunning livery as a signature exterior design element across our fleet," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "As we look to resume sailing in the U.S., we're coming back with a signature new look as well!"

In addition to the new livery, Carnival Magic will emerge from its dry dock on May 24 with an expanded casino with an even greater variety of slots and other games, as well as a host of enhancements including freshening up the finishes for the WaterWorks aqua park and pools.

Holland America Line to Restart Cruising from Greece in August 2021
Working in close coordination with the government of Greece, Holland America Line has received approval to restart cruising from Piraeus (Athens) in August with four departures aboard Eurodam. Bookings for these cruises will open May 6.

Departing Aug. 15 and 29, the "Idyllic Greek Isles" itinerary features Kotor, Montenegro, plus the Greek isles of Kékira (Corfu), Thíra (Santorini) and Mykonos. "Ancient Wonders" departs Aug. 22 to explore Haifa, Israel, as well as Náfplion, Mykonos and Rhodes in Greece. Both options can be combined to form a longer, back-to-back 14-day Collectors' Voyage.

"Holland America Line to restart cruising in August aboard Eurodam. Bookings for these cruises will open May 6."

A seven-day "Adriatic Allure" itinerary departing Sept. 5 will sail from Piraeus to Venice, Italy, with calls at Mykonos, Katakolon (Olympia) and Crete (Chania), Greece, and Sarandë, Albania. Additional Mediterranean cruises aboard Eurodam through the fall will be announced in the coming weeks and include ports in Italy and Greece. Eurodam returns to the United States to begin sailing its published Caribbean cruises in mid-November.

"Everyone at Holland America Line has been preparing for our return to service, and we are grateful to the government of Greece for allowing us to show that we can safely operate our cruises," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "The beautiful islands of Greece have been a highlight of our Mediterranean itineraries for decades, and we are honored to be able to restart out of Athens and give our guests a memorable vacation after all this time without cruise travel."

"The Greek Islands have been welcoming Holland America Line ships for many years, and we are proud to work together to welcome the cruise line back this summer," said Harry Theoharis, Minister of Tourism of Greece. "We are sure that all visitors to Greece will once again have unique experiences to our beautiful destinations and fully enjoy the rich history, culture and gastronomy of our nation.''

On board, Holland America Line will continue to offer the amenities that are a hallmark of the brand. Dining will be available in all restaurants and specialty venues, as well as room service. Entertainment will be in full swing in the main show lounge, and live music will be featured in Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King's Blues Club, Billboard Onboard and Rolling Stone Rock Room. Port-to-Table culinary demonstrations, EXC Talks and more will bring Greece and its culture on board through engaging activities. To accommodate physical distancing, additional performances may be added to the schedule.

Holland America Line cruises from Greece are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination.

Holland America Line guests will be required to comply with all health and safety protocols in place at the time of departure for travel to and from the ship, as well as all onboard protocols and procedures for visiting ports. Guests can find information about Greece traveler health requirements on the Visit Greece website.

Additional preventive health measures under Holland America Line's "Travel Well" program will be in place, including health screenings, face mask requirements, physical distancing and capacity controls. The ships now feature enhanced environmental sanitation and air ?ltration with upgraded HVAC systems and ultraviolet technology. HEPA ?lters will be used in key areas as a further safeguard. In addition, medical centers will be equipped with COVID-19 testing and treatment capabilities.

Holland America Line's protocols are subject to change as work continues in collaboration with medical experts and government bodies to ensure the practices evolve in line with the latest advice.

To accommodate the new Greece sailings, guests sailing on Eurodam's published Seattle roundtrip Alaska cruises will be moved to similar accommodations on sister ship Nieuw Amsterdam, which is scheduled to sail on the same departure dates. In addition, European cruises departing from July 1 through July 25 on Volendam and July 1 through Aug. 31 on Westerdam will be canceled. Guests who were booked on impacted cruises and their travel advisors are being notified.

Carnival Cruise Line Provides Update on Possible Restart Plan
Carnival Cruise Line today notified its guests and travel advisor partners of cancellations for additional sailings as it works toward plans for a possible July restart in the U.S. on select ships.

Carnival hopes to begin operating sailings on three ships from Florida and Texas, including Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze from Galveston, and Carnival Horizon from Miami. Further, if Carnival can find a solution to allow cruise ships to visit Alaska, Carnival Miracle will assume some of Carnival Freedom's departures from Seattle. Given that there is still some uncertainty in our ability to operate these cruises, guests booked on those sailings who wish to make alternate summer vacation plans may cancel without penalty by May 31, 2021 and receive a full refund.

The company is cancelling sailings on all other ships through July 30, 2021. Guests whose cruises are cancelled are eligible for a future cruise credit (FCC) and onboard credit (OBC) or a full refund.

"We continue to have constructive discussions with the CDC but still have many questions that remain unanswered. We are working diligently to resume sailing in the U.S. and meet the CDC guidelines," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We sincerely appreciate the continued patience and understanding of our guests and travel advisor partners and will share additional information as quickly as we can."

Separately, late last week Carnival notified its guests that Carnival Splendor's pause out of Sydney was extended another month, as it cancelled sailings from Aug. 19 to Sept. 17, 2021.

AIDA Cruises extends Canary Islands season through July
AIDA Cruises is extending AIDAperla's Canary Islands season through July, offering new dates for booking beginning May 7, 2021. The new voyages depart from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria on June 12, 19 and 26, 2021.

Currently, AIDAperla is successfully sailing on 7- and 14-day voyages around the Canary Islands. For many months, the Canary Islands have been one of the few vacation destinations in Europe with consistently low incidence levels. Thanks to the Spanish government's regulations for safe travel, which coincide with AIDA's enhanced health and safety protocols, many AIDA guests have been able to enjoy relaxing holidays in the Canary Islands.

With AIDAblu starting on Greek cruises on May 23, 2021, and AIDAsol starting on May 22, 2021 in Germany, AIDA is able to offer its guests even more exciting destinations for their holiday.

Unfortunately, cruises in other destinations are not possible at the moment. Therefore, all other cruises with a departure date between May 18 and June 10, 2021, have to be cancelled.

AIDA is happy to offer affected guests to rebook to one of the Canary Islands, Greek voyages or cruises from Germany as well as a later voyage from AIDA's diverse offer.

With a testing strategy for guests and crew members already utilized on several cruises, it is AIDA's top priority for all guests to enjoy their vacation safely. The enhanced health and safety protocols -- tested by SGS Institut Fresenius and confirmed by the classification society DNV -- includes a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for detecting viruses and bacteria before traveling, as well as regular health checks, social distance and hygiene rules, medical care including test capacities on board and other measures.

With the "AIDA promise," the cruise company offers guests more flexibility and security in planning. Generous booking options are part of AIDA's commitment to its guests, ranging from small down payments to free rebooking. The "AIDA promise" is included in the travel price for new bookings up to May 31, 2021 and applies to departures up to March. 31, 2022.

All cruises are carried out in compliance with AIDA's enhanced health and safety protocols, as well as applicable laws and regulations for infection protection.

Viking Expands "Welcome Back" Collection With New Mediterranean Voyages For Summer 2021
Viking announced today that it will restart operations in the Mediterranean with new ocean voyages for vaccinated guests beginning this summer. Offered as part of Viking's Welcome Back collection, Viking Venus and Viking Sea will homeport in the Maltese capital city of Valletta—a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site—and sail two different 11-day roundtrip itineraries in the Mediterranean. As a result of strong demand, Viking also announced today it is adding more sailing dates this summer for its Welcome Back voyages around Iceland and Bermuda.

Guests on the new Malta & Adriatic Jewels itinerary will overnight in Valletta and then sail to Montenegro and Croatia, calling in Kotor, Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Šibenik, before returning to the Maltese archipelago, with a stop in Gozo and finally back to Valletta. Guests on the new Malta & Greek Isles Discovery itinerary will also overnight in Valletta and then sail to Greece, calling in Kalamata, Athens, Santorini, Rhodes and Souda Bay, before returning to Valletta. Viking Venus and Viking Sea will sail the itineraries between July and early October 2021. Delivered in April 2021, Viking Venus is Viking's newest ocean ship and will be named in the England on May 17, 2021 by ceremonial godmother and iconic British broadcaster Anne Diamond.

"We thank the government of Malta for its support and enthusiasm as we continue restarting operations," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Malta is a fantastic destination, with ancient history, rich culture and a central location in the Mediterranean. We began calling in Malta in 2016 and look forward to welcoming guests back to some of the most historically significant and naturally beautiful areas of the Med—in both the Maltese archipelago, as well as along the Croatian coast, and around Greek islands this summer."

Today's news follows Viking's recent announcements of Welcome Back ocean voyages in England, Iceland and Bermuda, beginning in May 2021. The company is actively working on developing additional Welcome Back itineraries in a variety of other destinations, with the goal of announcing further 2021 sailings as soon as government approvals are given.

Those who sail these new voyages will also experience Viking's industry-leading health and safety program. Grounded in scientific research, the Viking Health & Safety Program was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking's Chief Health Officer. Dr. Bono is a board-certified trauma surgeon and retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps—and most recently led Washington State's medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing a full-scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship, all guests and crew will receive daily quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests. New air purification technology has also been installed on all Viking ships, which have always featured independent air handling units for all guest staterooms. And additional health checks, sanitization and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking guests and crew at all points of the journey

Azamara Reveals Health and Safety Protocols for Return to Sailing in August
Azamara is pleased to reveal the brand's 'Explore Well at Sea' program ahead of the line's return to service in August.

Through Azamara's commitment to wellness, the cruise line is implementing new standards with the launch of its 'Explore Well at Sea' program to enhance the onboard experience, keeping guests' safety and peace of mind a top priority. With the guidance of the Healthy Sail Panel – a group of the best minds and leaders in public health, biosecurity, epidemiology, hospitality and maritime operations – travelers can expect advanced screening protocols such as fully vaccinated crew and guests, enhanced sanitation measures, and enhanced medical services. Azamara will continue to evaluate these protocols and update them as public health standards and the global situation evolves. Booked guests and travel partners will be advised of the latest requirements prior to voyage departure.

"Since we suspended our sailings over a year ago, we've had time to develop a strong restart plan and build on our existing health and safety protocols to ensure peace of mind for guests and crew, especially when it comes to traveling within our new world," said President of Azamara, Carol Cabezas. "Cruising is one of the safest places to travel, which is attributed to all the enhanced protocols set in place, and we are extremely fortunate to be guided by the Healthy Sail Panel for a healthy return to service in Greece beginning on August 28, with five back-to-back Country-Intensive Voyages and one classic Mediterranean sailing."

'Explore Well at Sea' Program Highlights:

Testing & Screening: All guests will be required to be fully vaccinated two weeks prior to sailing, as an added layer of protection to keep guests and crew safe, in addition to providing a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result. Once aboard, complimentary COVID-19 testing and medical evaluations will be available.

Air Filtration: With new HVAC filtration systems, the air indoors aboard each of Azamara's ships is comparable to the fresh sea air. This advanced filtration system takes in fresh sea air and moves it through a two-stage filter, plus copper coils, to eliminate 99.99% of germs, making the transmission of aerosol particles between spaces extremely low to virtually impossible.

Cleaning Protocols: Advanced cleaning protocols and guidelines approved by the CDC and recommended by the Healthy Sail Panel will be followed. Every nook of the ships, from bow to stern, will be regularly cleaned and sanitized. New standards include enhanced team member training, use of EPA-certified disinfectants, and techniques like electrostatic spraying.

Medical Capabilities: An enhanced medical facility will be found on board each Azamara vessel, with more equipment, a dedicated infectious control officer, and new isolation staterooms to provide comfortable and complimentary care. New agreements will be in place with local governments, hospitals and transportation partners to ensure guests a safe return home.

AIDA Cruises Celebrates Opening of Europe's Largest Shore Power Plant in Germany
AIDA Cruises today announced that Europe's largest shore power plant was officially inaugurated with one of its ships, AIDAsol, in the presence of Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig and AIDA Cruises President Felix Eichhorn during the 12th German National Maritime Conference.

Establishing a shore power supply for cruise ships in Rostock-Warnemünde, Germany, is the result of a joint agreement between AIDA Cruises, the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the Hanseatic and University City of Rostock and Rostock Port signed in September 2018.

"With our green cruising strategy, we have been investing in a sustainable cruise market for many years," said AIDA's Eichhorn. "The shore power plant in Rostock-Warnemünde is another important step after the facility in Hamburg on our way to an emission-neutral cruise that we want to achieve with our fleet. I would like to thank the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and all partners involved for the good and trusting cooperation. Together, we are sending out an important signal, not just in Germany, but throughout Europe."

The shore power plant, which was completed in summer 2020, is currently the largest in Europe. With an output of up to 20 megavolt amperes (MVA), two cruise ships can be supplied with electricity at the same time in Warnemünde at berths P7 and P8. In regular passenger operation AIDAsol needs up to 4.5 megawatts per hour (MWh) of electricity.

The use of shore power to supply ships with energy is a decisive step for AIDA Cruises to reduce local emissions to zero during berthing over time, as a cruise ship typically stays in port around 40% of its operating time.

As early as 2004, when the order for the construction of AIDAdiva was placed, and for all other ships put into service the following years, the company considered the use of shore power as an option for environmentally friendly ship operation.

Since 2017, AIDA Cruises has been using Europe's first shore power plant in Hamburg-Altona with AIDAsol in regular operation. Currently, 10 ships in the AIDA fleet can use shore power where available or are technically prepared for it. The aim is to convert all ships built from 2000 onwards accordingly.

With AIDA Cruises starting a cruise season from Kiel, Germany, on May 22, AIDAsol will also be the first cruise ship to complete the final tests on the newly built shore power plant there. Its construction is the result of a joint initiative by the state government of Schleswig-Holstein, the city and the port of Kiel and AIDA Cruises. AIDAsol is scheduled to arrive in Kiel on the afternoon of May 13.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 26.27 - 5.94%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 83.93 - 4.53%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.055 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 27.95 - 10.39%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship was the first to provide passengers Internet access?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When Carnival's 46,052 ton Holiday was built in 1985 she set the record as the largest cruise ship built in that particular country. In what country was she built? Bonus: Name the shipyard?

Answer - The MS Holiday set the record for the largest ship build in Denmark at Aalborg Vaerft.
courtesy of Byron Clayton, Singapore


Cruise News - May 3, 2021

Costa Cruises Celebrates Restart Of Cruises In Mediterranean
Costa Smeralda, Costa Cruises' flagship, left the port of Savona Saturday, May 1, for a week-long cruise in Italy. It is the first ship of the Italian company to resume operations in 2021, officially kicking off the summer season, which will see a total of four Costa ships cruising the Mediterranean

The restart of Costa Smeralda was celebrated Saturday morning at the Palacrociere terminal, in the presence of Costa Cruises President Mario Zanetti, together with local authorities including the Mayor of Savona, Ilaria Caprioglio; the President of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority, Paolo Emilio Signorini; and the Captain of Savona Costa Guard, Francesco Cimmino.

"This year, May 1 takes on a special meaning for Costa Cruises as our company is resuming its operation, celebrating the resumption of work, for us and for the entire allied industries," said Costa's Zanetti. "We are delighted to be starting off again from a Ligurian port, from the region that has been our home for over 70 years. The cruise and tourism sector is essential for the recovery of the Italian economy. Suffice it to say that, before the pause due to the Covid-19 emergency, our company generated an economic impact of €3.5 billion at national level, with over 17,000 direct and indirect jobs, working with about 5,000 partners. We hope that Saturday's restart will be a sign of a return to normality, for us, for our guests, whom we are pleased to welcome back onboard, and for all the suppliers working in our sector."

Costa Smeralda's first cruise features an all-Italian itinerary, visiting Savona, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Messina, Cagliari and La Spezia. Guests can choose to book the entire itinerary, for a week-long holiday, or split it into three- and four-day mini-cruises, to experience a shorter holiday.

Health and safety procedures have been enhanced through the adoption of the Costa Safety Protocol, the protocol developed by the company together with scientific experts and Italian authorities, which contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore. The measures include: a reduction in the number of guests; swab tests for all guests before embarkation and after half of the cruise; swab tests for the crew before embarkation and regularly during their stay on board; temperature checks every time guests disembark and re-enter the ship and every time they enter the restaurants; visits to destinations only with protected excursions; social distancing on board and in the terminals; new ways of using on-board services; enhanced sanitation and medical services; and the use of protective masks when necessary.

As for the holiday experience, guests will be able to enjoy new features, including a totally renewed excursion program, which will allow them to discover off-the-beaten path destinations, exclusively for Costa guests, and new menu proposals, with dishes related to locations visited by the itinerary.

Moreover, Costa's restart takes place with the most advanced ship in the fleet in terms of reducing environmental impact. Indeed, Costa Smeralda is the brand's first cruise ship to be powered by LNG, the most advanced propulsion technology available for reducing emissions. The ship's entire daily water requirements are met by directly transforming seawater using desalinators; energy consumption is reduced to a minimum thanks to an intelligent energy efficiency system; and waste is managed on board with 100% separate collection for recycling of plastic, paper, glass and aluminum.

Costa Smeralda is the first of four ships that will operate for Costa in summer 2021, offering cruises in the Mediterranean. On May 16, Costa Luminosa will restart, offering week-long cruises to Greece. On June 26, Costa Deliziosa will be back on one-week cruises to Greece. On July 4, Costa Firenze, the new ship inspired by the Florentine Renaissance, will be sailing on a one-week itinerary in Italy. Alongside with the return of the Costa Firenze, from July 3 the Costa Smeralda will be back on international itineraries, with week-long cruises in Italy, France and Spain.

"The restart of Costa Cruises on the occasion of the Labor Day takes on a strong symbolic value and must be a good omen for the recovery of an important economic sector such as tourism," said Ilaria Caprioglio, Mayor of Savona. "The municipality of Savona is pleased to celebrate this restart with Costa Cruises, after very difficult months of health, economic and social crisis, in the 25th year of the Company's presence in Savona. Savona is ready to welcome cruise passengers again."

"I really appreciate the sense of responsibility and the efforts of Costa Cruises to restart again, confirming the port system of Genoa and Savona as one of the main destinations for cruises in the Mediterranean, with over 2.3 million cruise passengers," said Paolo Emilio Signorini, president of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority. "Costa Cruises has developed strict safety protocols with the health authorities that will allow passengers to experience the cruise in a relaxed and full way, both onboard and ashore. I am proud that Savona is Costa Cruises' home port, and I will keep on working to further strengthen this bond. We made significant investments in the terminal and others are coming for the electrification of the docks, welcoming a request for sustainability addressed by the local community. We will also work to improve accessibility to the port, integrating even more the world of Costa into the local reality."

"The resumption of cruise activities with the Costa Smeralda is very important, especially in view of the gradual recovery of the sector," said Captain Francesco Cimmino of the Savona Coast Guard. "The Harbor Master's Office - Coast Guard of Savona completed the onboard inspection activities for the certifications required by the international conventions on safety and security; the activities were carried out by specific teams of inspectors of Savona and Genoa Coast Guard."

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces Return to Sailing
Regent Seven Seas Cruises today announced its return to sailing with Seven Seas Splendor cruising from the UK beginning September 2021. The voyage will mark the cruise line's return to service, as well as Seven Seas Splendor's inaugural season, with the ship having only completed two cruises with guests after being christened in February 2020. With a phased return to sailing for the rest of the fleet, luxury travelers will soon be able to once again enjoy the unrivaled Regent experience with the peace of mind that comes with the multi-layered SailSAFE health and safety program.

"Come September we will have the double celebration of our return to the seas as we also recommence the inaugural season of the ship that perfects luxury, Seven Seas Splendor," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "With immaculate design, luxurious suites, exquisite cuisine, dynamic entertainment and outstanding personalized service, Seven Seas Splendor was one of the most highly-anticipated ships to launch in the history of cruising, and my promise to our loyal and eager guests is that without a doubt she will be worth the wait."

The cruise line intends to preserve originally planned itineraries, as much as the global health environment at the time allows, presenting guests with the exceptional cruise and destination experience which they have come to expect from Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The first cruise in her inaugural season has Seven Seas Splendor scheduled to set sail September 11, 2021 for an 11-night voyage, round-trip from Southampton, England visiting Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. After her initial voyage, the ship will transition to explore the beautiful Mediterranean before crossing the Atlantic to sail in the Caribbean. While many of her sailings are already sold out, there are still opportunities to cruise later in Seven Seas Splendor's European season, and in the Caribbean early 2022.

To ensure a smooth and safe resumption of operations, the remainder of the Regent fleet's return to sailing will be announced at future dates, with voyage suspensions now extended through September 30, 2021 for Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator, and Seven Seas Voyager. In conjunction with today's announcement, Seven Seas Splendor's voyages are suspended up until her September 11, 2021 voyage from Southampton.

Multi-Layered SailSAFE Health & Safety Program

During its voluntary suspension of sailings, Regent Seven Seas Cruises built upon its existing comprehensive health and safety protocols by establishing the SailSAFE health and safety program, a robust and science-backed strategy that creates multiple layers of protection against COVID-19. The Program was developed with guidance from a team of public health and scientific experts including the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council.

"The well-being of our guests, crew and communities we visit has always been of paramount importance, and our SailSAFE health and safety program ensures it continues to be without diminishing the guest experience," continued Montague. "Offering unrivaled space at sea, our ships perfectly balance safety with comfort and freedom through spacious suites, multiple gourmet dining options and expansive social areas."

New Disney Cruise Line Ship Will Unlock Enchanting Family Vacations in Summer 2022
When the Disney Wish sets sail in summer 2022, families will discover a mesmerizing new world created especially for them: a celebration of Disney's rich legacy of enchanting storytelling that brings to life the fantastical worlds and beloved characters at the heart of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars adventures like never before.

Families will embark on a splashtacular adventure with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse aboard the first-ever Disney attraction at sea; revel in a royal celebration during a theatrical dining experience with "Frozen" friends; team up with the Avengers on a Marvel cinematic dining adventure; and travel to a galaxy far, far away in a first-of-its-kind Star Wars experience on board a Disney ship.

"With the Disney Wish, we're continuing our tradition of delivering the most magical and relaxing vacations at sea, combining legendary service and entertainment with imaginative storytelling and all the care you expect from a Disney vacation," said Josh D'Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. "Our newest ship will celebrate everything that families love about sailing with us, from the incredible dining experiences and character interactions, to dazzling shows and the crew's thoughtful attention to detail. We can't wait to welcome our guests aboard the Disney Wish as we expand the reach of our world-class fleet."

The Disney Wish will sail its maiden voyage — a five-night cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay — on June 9, 2022, followed by an inaugural season of three- and four-night cruises to the same destinations from Port Canaveral, Florida. Bookings open to the general public on May 27, 2021.

The Disney Wish will feature a brand-new, distinctly Disney design concept inspired by timeless tales of wishes come true. The motif of enchantment — a theme found at the heart of so many beloved Disney stories — will manifest in wondrous ways throughout the ship, from the magical forest setting of the Walt Disney Theatre to storybook-inspired staterooms to the fairytale castle-inspired Grand Hall, where a dazzling wishing star descends from the shimmering chandelier above.

"Daring to dream even bigger, our Imagineers are creating a breathtaking new world of enchantment aboard the Disney Wish," said Laura Cabo, portfolio creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. "This motif provides the perfect platform to infuse Disney storytelling into every aspect of the design, giving the Disney Wish its own unique personality and a completely new look unlike anything else at sea."

Disney Cruise Line will take fun in the sun to the next level on board the Disney Wish with a brand-new family water attraction and three themed districts that offer dedicated space for families, children and adults alike.

Guests will be immersed in "The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse" animated shorts aboard the first-ever Disney attraction at sea, AquaMouse. Complete with show scenes, lighting and special effects, and splashtacular surprises, this wild water ride is sure to delight everyone in the family as they zig, zag and zoom through 760 feet of winding tubes suspended high above the upper decks.

Families will have more pools, more deck space and more dining than ever before in an expansive district themed to Mickey and friends. In addition to AquaMouse, the area will feature six pools — spaciously staggered among tiered decks and surrounded by lounge chairs — and a fresh take on quick and casual fare with a festive character twist.

Little ones will delight in an all-new Toy Story-themed district designed especially for families with toddlers and young children. This whimsical water wonderland will include a splash zone, wading pool, family waterslide and smoothie bar.

Adults will indulge in sun-drenched serenity at Quiet Cove, a peaceful refuge dedicated to lounging, sipping and soaking. Set away from the bustle of family activities, this secluded adults-only district will feature a luxurious infinity pool, poolside bar and chic cafe.

With the debut of three brand-new family dining concepts ranging from theatrical entertainment to cinematic adventure to sophisticated elegance, dinner on board the Disney Wish will be so much more than a meal – it will be a chance to interact with favorite Disney stories in exciting new ways that only Disney Cruise Line can cook up.

Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is Disney's first "Frozen"-themed theatrical dining experience that will bring the world of Arendelle to life through immersive live entertainment — featuring favorite characters like Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf — and world-class cuisine infused with Nordic influences.

Worlds of Marvel is the first-ever Marvel cinematic dining adventure, where guests will play an interactive role in an action-packed Avengers mission that unfolds around them, complete with a worldly menu inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

1923, named for the year The Walt Disney Company was founded, is an elegant celebration of the company's legacy, paying homage to the golden age of animation and offering a tasteful tribute to its Californian heritage with dishes inspired by the state's unique fusion of cultural flavors.

In addition to elaborately themed, upscale restaurants, the Disney Wish will offer a variety of dining options ranging from quick bites, casual dining and 24-hour room service to specialty treats, gourmet cafes and premium dining exclusively for adults.

Disney Cruise Line is combining innovative design and technology to create immersive entertainment environments that will surround guests in storytelling in new and unexpected ways on board the Disney Wish.

The Grand Hall will evolve from a fairytale gathering space into an environmental theater through the magic of built-in special effects and the first-ever atrium stage on a Disney ship. Dedicated shows and interactive entertainment will come to life all around the hall, putting guests front and center as they play a special role in the magic.

Luna is a brand-new entertainment hub that will transition from a daytime setting for family fun into an elegant evening venue for adult-exclusive entertainment, offering a variety of live shows and interactive programming throughout the day.

Hero Zone is a futuristic sports arena where physical activity will blend with imagination during action-packed challenges and game show-style competitions for families to take on together.

The Walt Disney Theatre is an opulent show palace that will come alive with original Broadway-style stage productions developed exclusively for Disney Cruise Line.

The Wonderland and Never Land Cinemas are intimate screening rooms that will provide guests more options than ever to watch classic and first-run films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and more. In true Disney Cruise Line fashion, the Disney Wish will offer a robust menu of world-class entertainment throughout every voyage, including spectacular stage shows, exhilarating deck parties, one-of-a-kind character experiences, fun family activities, contemporary cabarets and more.

Aboard Disney Cruise Line, kids get to be the heroes of their own Disney stories. With dedicated clubs for every age group and imaginative programming facilitated with the care and expertise of Disney-trained counselors, children will be immersed in Disney storytelling on board the Disney Wish.

Children ages 3 to 12 will enter the captivating worlds of favorite Disney stories in the reimagined Disney's Oceaneer Club, a real-life wonderland featuring more spaces and stories than ever before. Expertly developed programming combines deeply engaging, enriching activities with special playtime with Disney friends – and when characters stop by, they stay to play, offering uniquely interactive, memorable character experiences exclusive to Disney Cruise Line.

Marvel Super Hero Academy is a high-tech Avengers headquarters where young "recruits" will train to be the next generation of Super Heroes with the help of their own heroes, like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Fairytale Hall is a royal trio of activity rooms where princesses and princes will let their creativity shine at Rapunzel's Art Studio, read and act out stories at Belle's Library, and test newfound icy powers at Anna and Elsa's Sommerhus.

Walt Disney Imagineering Lab is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for kids to discover the secrets of world-renowned Disney Imagineers — the creative masterminds behind Disney theme parks, resorts and cruise ships — with hands-on activities and inventive experiments.

For the littlest cruisers ages 6 months to 3 years, It's a Small World Nursery will offer babysitting services in a whimsical environment inspired by the beloved Disney attraction of the same name.

Edge (ages 11 to 14) and Vibe (ages 14 to 17) are trendy hangouts where tweens and teens will chill and play in their own way, with dedicated programming designed to engage the unique interests of these age groups.

Adults aboard the Disney Wish will escape, relax, dine and play in more ways than ever with exclusive venues and entertainment tailored just for them, featuring elevated interpretations of Disney stories through sophisticated theming that ranges from subtle inspiration to full-scale immersion.

For the first time on a Disney ship, guests will embark on a space-jumping tour of the Star Wars galaxy at Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge, a high-end bar styled as a luxurious yacht-class spaceship. This richly themed, immersive experience will be reserved for adults every evening, offering interactive tasting experiences and signature beverages inspired by destinations such as Batuu, Tatooine and Mustafar.

Aboard the Disney Wish, guests will savor gourmet meals and exceptional beverages at Palo Steakhouse, Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement and The Rose, an upscale suite of epicurean excellence exclusively for adults, inspired by the elegant icons of Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Beauty and the Beast."

Palo Steakhouse is an evolution of the Palo restaurant that Disney cruisers know and love, now combining the relaxed sophistication of authentic Italian dining with the classic refinement of a modern steakhouse in a genteel setting inspired by Cogsworth, the tale's majordomo-turned-enchanted-clock.

Enchanté will offer the most luxurious dining experience on board, featuring a gourmet menu crafted by three-Michelin-starred Chef Arnaud Lallement. This romantic and intimate venue will evoke the dazzling spirit of the film's candelabra maitre d', Lumiere.

The Rose is a chic lounge at the entrance of Palo Steakhouse and Enchanté. Inspired by the fateful flower at the heart of the story, The Rose will be an idyllic setting for a pre-dinner aperitif or after-dinner cocktail.

Senses Spa is a tranquil oasis offering indulgent spa and beauty treatments, drawing on the serenity of natural elements to promote pampering and relaxation. The spa will feature private treatment rooms, lavish spa villas, and steam and aromatherapy rooms, while the reimagined Senses Fitness will offer state-of-the-art exercise and wellness facilities.

Other adult-exclusive spaces on board the Disney Wish will include the Quiet Cove pool district; a variety of gourmet cafes, relaxed bars and upscale lounges; and more.

With an all-new look and feel steeped in enchantment and inspired by dreamy Disney stories, every stateroom on board the Disney Wish will be a luxurious, peaceful retreat designed with ample room for families, plenty of storage and upscale amenities. Most will feature Disney Cruise Line's signature split-bathroom concept for utmost comfort and function.

Most of the ship's 1,254 staterooms will offer an ocean view — including 877 (70%) with a spacious verandah — and there will be 451 connecting doors that adjoin rooms to accommodate larger families.

Celebrity Cruises' Reveals Details of Newest Ship, Celebrity Beyond
Today, Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo unveiled the company's third ship in the company's industry-transforming "new luxury" Edge Series -- Celebrity BeyondSM. Designed to give guests endless opportunities to disconnect from the world -- while simultaneously reconnecting with the world that surrounds them -- Celebrity Beyond goes further than imagined possible for a cruise ship, creating a new world of wonder and luxury.

Inspired by a vision to take the cruise industry into the next era of luxury, Lutoff-Perlo assembled a dream team of modern lifestyle icons to bring to life extraordinary experiences that allow guests to connect with each other, the sea, and their journey. Celebrity Beyond showcases the design talents of multi-award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE; celebrated American designer Nate Berkus; and lauded Paris-based design firm Jouin Manku; the innovation of British architect Tom Wright; and the culinary gifts of Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud. The ship will also feature experiences and products from goop CEO and founder Gwyneth Paltrow, the brand's new Well-Being Advisor.

Redefining luxury again, Celebrity Beyond builds on the features and design of its award-winning predecessors Celebrity Edge (2018) and Celebrity Apex (2020) by creating innovative spaces that set the brand apart from others in the industry. Every element of Celebrity Beyond's look and feel has been carefully curated with re-imagined spaces and more luxurious versions of the brand's most popular signature spaces, including:

The Retreat, an exclusive resort-within-a-resort area for suite guests, highlighted by a new two-story sundeck;

• Transformed accommodations from modern two-story villas with private plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas, blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living;

• An expanded Rooftop Garden and stunning Resort Deck featuring unique cantilevered float pools;

• A multi-level, multi-terraced Sunset Bar redefining the ship's aft;

• A first-ever Daniel Boulud fine-dining restaurant at sea;

• A boldly redesigned Grand Plaza spanning three decks, creating an airy and open indoor space;

• And, the return of the Magic Carpet, an engineering feat soaring cantilevered above the sea, offering guests uninterrupted vistas while sipping cocktails or having dinner.

"Celebrity Cruises has always been an innovator at sea, and now we have challenged the status quo with a vessel that goes beyond expectations, beyond imagination," said Lutoff-Perlo. "Celebrity Beyond shatters any and every preconceived notion of the cruising experience. This exquisite ship offers a journey at the intersection of elegance and approachability filled with what's important to our guests today: forward-thinking design, culinary excellence, unparalleled well-being and incomparable service."

"With Celebrity Beyond, we saw an opportunity to take the extraordinary features of Celebrity Edge - like the focus on the connection with the ocean and the grand spaces - and really amplify them," said Richard Fain, Chairman of Royal Caribbean Group, parent company of Celebrity Cruises. "We focused on providing more openness, height and spaciousness throughout the ship's most popular spaces. The end result is a next generation ship that embodies the intersection of architecture and design."

The Retreat: A Resort In and of Itself

One of the most sought-after interior designers in the world, Kelly Hoppen CBE, has reimagined aspects of the design for The Retreat, the unrivaled and exclusive resort space for suite guests, including all new suites, and brought her globally renowned style to outdoor venues such as the Rooftop Garden and the main pool area on the Resort Deck.

The new, two-story Retreat Sundeck will offer more unadulterated outdoor bliss and ways to rejuvenate in the fresh ocean air with secluded cabanas, chic new seating areas, additional water features and the exclusive Retreat Bar. The warm and inviting Retreat Lounge is a newly stylish space to unwind; while Hoppen's new take on the adjacent private restaurant Luminae, now at the front of the ship, becomes a space where every corner provides a new experience with each visit, in keeping with the daily changing menu.

An array of contemporary suite accommodations featuring fresh color palettes and design details by Hoppen await guests of The Retreat, including the redesigned two-story Edge Villas with outdoor plunge pools, and Celebrity's famous Iconic Suites, the largest in the fleet, offering better views than the captain's quarters.

Connecting Two Worlds

Nowhere is more rejuvenating than the open sea, and Celebrity Beyond ensures guests are able to take full advantage of both the luxurious design of the ship while soaking in the world around them.

Perhaps best known for designing the world-famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, lead architect Tom Wright of WKK has expanded the exterior spaces on Celebrity Beyond, transforming them into serene outward-facing sanctuaries leveraging endless ocean vistas and breath-taking panoramas of the extraordinary places the ship will visit. His design both lengthens the ship by 20 meters and raises the ship to 17 decks tall, allowing for the reimagination of The Retreat, the Resort Deck, and the Rooftop Garden – outdoor spaces increasingly important to today's traveler.

The main open deck, 40 percent larger than on previous Edge Series ships, features an enormous living Rooftop Garden designed by Hoppen and includes increased seating offering new private nooks and more spaces for movie watching, enjoying live music and outdoor dining at the expanded Rooftop Grill. A highlight of this area is Wright's incorporation of two spectacular floating pools cantilevered six and a half feet over the side of the ship, taking guests beyond the water's edge.

On the Resort Deck, guests will enjoy a stunning asymmetrical space with a 25-yard lap pool surrounded by a terraced pool deck and new sunken seating areas designed by Hoppen.

Wright also designed the signature Edge Series Magic Carpet, a tennis-court sized cantilevered platform that scales the side of the ship and transforms from open-air lounge or restaurant hovering above the ocean along higher decks to a tender platform for going ashore on lower decks. Featured on Celebrity Beyond, it debuted on Celebrity Edge in 2018 and is still considered one of the most unique design innovations ever for a cruise ship.

Celebrity Cruises' Edge Series Design Ambassador Nate Berkus stepped into the role of designer himself, to imagine one of the most anticipated venues on Celebrity Beyond – the Sunset Bar. Inside this space that is nearly twice as large as previous iterations, Berkus has created a chic, Moroccan-inspired escape that is reminiscent of a modern-day Casablanca.

Guests will enter through a pergola-covered entrance to enjoy one of the hottest spots at sea. With more conversation niches and covered enclaves to allow guests to connect in a more intimate way, the Sunset Bar's cascading terraces will combine to provide the perfect place to soak in spectacular views and create unforgettable memories.

Luxury in Every Detail

The core of Celebrity Beyond's vision of luxury is the Grand Plaza, a transformational place at the center of the ship designed by Jouin Manku — the team responsible for designing the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower — and offering a different experience with every visit. Inspired by the piazzas of Italy that serve as life centers of towns where architecture and social connection become one, the Grand Plaza spans three decks at the heart of the ship, boldly declaring it is the place to see and be seen.

Larger than Grand Plazas on its sister Edge Series ships, the Celebrity Beyond Grand Plaza has an airier atmosphere with more room for intimate seating. The added space allowed designers to move the Martini Bar into the center of the venue as a full, circular bar.

Hanging proudly above the new Martini Bar, the Grand Plaza's iconic chandelier boasts a new, organic shape with hundreds of individual LED lights that cast an inviting glow at all hours—taking center stage with talented bartenders at night during their exciting and theatrical Flash Flair Fusion performance.

Connected to the Grand Plaza is the top table of culinary excellence at sea, the new, intimate 50-seat restaurant by world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Aptly named Le Voyage, travel is the inspiration for the globally inspired flavors within, designed to transport guests to the very places that inspire the Michelin-rated chef. Complementing the menu, world-class sommeliers will pair the perfect wine with every dish from Celebrity Cruises' "most awarded" wine collection at sea.

Complementing Chef Boulud's world-class menu is the restaurant's ambiance, which is also the result of Jouin Manku's creative talents. Intimate seating cocoons are surrounded by luminous portals highlighting the themes of journey and travel, while graphically lit "glass flutes" provide layers of light and texture to create an enchanting experience.

Providing a sense of occasion and flow, the Le Voyage experience begins with a dedicated entrance and concludes with a customized sweet prepared in Daniel's own farewell boutique as guests are wished 'au revoir.'

Rethinking Wellness at Sea

Luxury didn't stop at the architectural design and culinary experience, but extended into how Celebrity Cruises thought of wellness on Celebrity Beyond. New to the ship are AquaClass SkySuites, an immersive living experience that helps guests find their center. From floor-to-ceiling ocean views, private verandas, luxurious bedding and other wellness amenities, Celebrity Beyond has thought of everything to nourish its guests' mind, body, and spirit on vacation.

Celebrity Beyond also sets sail with a new partnership with actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, serving as the line's new Well-being Advisor. All Aqua Class guests across the entire Celebrity Cruises fleet (excluding Galapagos sailings) will be treated to onboard wellness offerings, including fitness kits from Paltrow's modern lifestyle brand goop, aimed at enhancing self-care and collective well-being. Paltrow and her team at goop will also curate onboard wellness programming and participate in the line's new Women in Wellness initiative.

Celebrity Beyond will depart on her maiden voyage on April 27, 2022 from Southampton, England, on a 10-night Western Europe cruise visiting Bordeaux, France; Lisbon, Portugal; and Seville, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain. She will then offer a variety of Mediterranean journeys including nine-night Italian Riviera and France itineraries and 10-night Greek Isles itineraries through early October, when she then heads to the Caribbean.

Seabourn Charts A 65-day "Grand Pacific Voyage 2022
Seabourn is inviting travelers to explore the "peaceful sea" and myriad islands within it on the brand new Grand Pacific Voyage 2022: A World of Islands. The 65-day adventure is set to depart Vancouver, British Columbia, aboard Seabourn Odyssey on September 30, 2022, and arrive at Sydney, Australia, on December 5, 2022, offering a world of experiences for guests in between with 41 ports, 30 islands, 12 countries, and five overnight stays on the itinerary. Guests will also have the option to embark the voyage in Seattle on October 1, 2022.

The 65-day itinerary of the Grand Pacific Voyage includes stops at notable destinations Seabourn has not visited in over five years, including: Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii; Avatoru, Rangiroa, French Polynesia; Mataiva, French Polynesia; Maupiti Island, French Polynesia; Maroe Bay, Huahine-Iti, French Polynesia; Cook's Bay, Moorea, French Polynesia; Alofi, Niue; Dravuni Island, Fiji; and Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands.

"The Pacific Ocean is a phenomenon all its own – so vast, so beautiful, with such a wide range of destinations and cultures for guests to discover, so demand for this 2022 Grand Pacific Voyage has been very strong," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "French Polynesia and Tahiti belong on everyone's must-visit list, and there is no more appealing way to check them off than on board Seabourn Odyssey."

Once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences available on Seabourn's 2022 Grand Pacific Voyage are endless, with 25 optional, guided Ventures by Seabourn excursions where guests are invited to explore settings of natural beauty via hike, kayak, and Zodiac across the South Pacific. Destinations with the excursions include Maupiti Island, French Polynesia; Ureparapara, Vanuatu; Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands; and Savusavu, Vanau Levu, Fiji, to name a few. There will also be two days of Ventures by Seabourn offerings in Conflict Islands (Panawal Group), Papua New Guinea, and Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Among the featured overnight destinations for guests of the Grand Pacific Voyage to anticipate:

• Honolulu, Hawaii – Experience a vibrant mix of natural, cultural and historic wonders on the island of Oahu, and a blend of cultures in this gleaming city. The famed resort destination of Waikiki Beach will be waiting, as will the volcanic landmark Diamond Head and historic Pearl Harbor, the largest natural harbor in Hawaii, and the only U.S. naval base designated as a National Historical Landmark.

• Conflict Island (Panawal Group), Papua New Guinea – Named by its discoverer for the British ship HMS Conflict, this archipelago of 21 coral atolls off the coast of New Guinea is as peaceful and idyllic as paradise can get. And paradise it is, privately owned by a passionate conservationist, with activities including kayaking, snorkeling and paddle-boarding tailored for full enjoyment of beautiful beaches, bio-diverse reefs, crystal clear and comfortably warm waters, and relaxation on sugary sands.

• Papeete, French Polynesia – The capital of Tahiti was once a gathering place for islanders to fill their calabashes with fresh water. Today, it's a gateway city lively with romantic resorts, fine-dining restaurants, pearl shops, vibrant markets, and boutiques. The mountainous interior of Tahiti beyond has deep valleys and scenic waterfalls, while the rugged coastal lands are dotted with fields of tropical flowers and glorious white- and black-sand beaches.

Sailing the Pacific Ocean is an unparalleled experience. It is the Earth's largest feature – wet or dry – with a total area larger than all landmasses combined. Occupying a full third of the globe and stretching halfway around the world at its widest point, the Pacific plunges to a maximum depth of nearly 36,000 feet. The ocean's ever-moving surface is further embellished with most of the world's islands – some 25,000 in total – leaving no shortage of destinations for Seabourn guests to discover.

In addition, there will be a selection of optional Overland and Seabourn Journeys, offering opportunities to explore treasured sites on land that cannot be accessed on single-day excursions from the ship.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 27.93 + 1.38%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.91 + 1.12%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.055 - 8.33%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 31.19 + 3.21%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When Carnival's 46,052 ton Holiday was built in 1985 she set the record as the largest cruise ship built in that particular country. In what country was she built? Bonus: Name the shipyard?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which was the first cruise ship to be enlarged by having an 85 foot mid-section inserted? As a result of this surgery, her capacity increased from 876 to over 1,200.

Answer - RCCL's the Song of Norway in 1978.
courtesy of Brian O'Leary -- Montreal, Canada


Cruise News - April 26, 2021

Norwegian Cruise Line Prepares for Resumption of Cruising from Barcelona and Rome
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced a further restart of operations in Europe from the homeports of Barcelona and Rome with previously scheduled port-intensive itineraries to the Mediterranean and Greek Isles beginning Sept. 5, 2021.

Guided by the robust protocols of the Sail Safe Global Health and Safety Program, and in partnership with local governments, NCL plans to welcome travelers to experience the warm and vibrant cultures and sites of Spain, Italy and Greece. Currently scheduled to sail from Barcelona, Norwegian Epic will cruise seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries from Sept. 5, 2021 through Oct. 24, 2021, with Norwegian Getaway sailing a mix of 10 to 11-day Greek Isles voyages from Rome (Civitavecchia) from Sept. 13, 2021 to Oct. 25, 2021. With five to eight ports of call, up to 13 hours in each city and no more than two days at sea, guests can spend their days exploring ancient ruins and medieval architecture, admiring artistic masterpieces or simply savoring a variety of local cuisine.

"Europe is a top travel destination, so we are very much looking forward to returning to some of our most beloved homeports, resuming those itineraries and welcoming our guests to experience a vacation of a lifetime in the safest possible manner," said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "We are actively working with our local partners and government officials, as we plan for resumption of voyages in the region with Norwegian Epic and Getaway joining Norwegian Jade this summer. Relaunching Norwegian Epic and Getaway will allow us to provide a greater variety of highly sought-after itineraries for those travelers preparing to take their first cruise vacation in over a year."

"While cruising has not yet restarted from Spanish ports, the Port of Barcelona has been closely working and cooperating with the Spanish Ministry of Health and with the Health Department of the local government of Catalonia towards the same objective: the resumption of cruise traffic following the safest protocols for guests, crew and the inhabitants of Barcelona," said Mercè Conesa, president of the Port of Barcelona. "We are hopeful that we will soon welcome Norwegian Cruise Line and its guests to Barcelona."

Reaffirming the Company's commitment to elevating the guest experience at sea, the Cruise Line will debut an all-new The Haven by Norwegian complex aboard Norwegian Epic, following an extensive refurbishment in Marseille, France at the end of 2020. Norwegian Epic was the first in the fleet to premiere the Brand's key-card access ship-within-a-ship concept in 2010, complete with private amenities, dedicated services and the most luxurious accommodations on board. The recent renovation resulted in 75 reimagined and upgraded suites combined with redesigned experiences including The Haven Restaurant and The Haven Courtyard Pool and Sundeck. Norwegian Epic features one of the largest The Haven complexes in the Norwegian fleet.

"Although we have been unable to connect with our guests at sea, we have used the last year to prepare for their return by investing in our fleet and our onboard offerings," said Sommer. "Norwegian Epic's redesign is a testament to our unwavering commitment to extraordinary quality and elevating the standard of excellence across our fleet."

Oceania Cruises Announces Restart of Cruise Operations in August 2021
Oceania Cruises announced that it will resume cruise operations with the 1,250-guest Marina in August, beginning with sailings to Scandinavia and Western Europe. Marina will resume her originally published voyage schedule, commencing on August 29, 2021 in Copenhagen.

"The entire Oceania Cruises team is excited to now shift our focus to safely restarting operations and ultimately welcoming back our guests to begin exploring the world once again," stated Bob Binder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceania Cruises.

Phased restart dates for the balance of the Oceania Cruises fleet will be forthcoming and itineraries will be evaluated for port availability and adjusted as needed closer to the sailing dates.

Robust, New SailSAFE Protocols

Oceania Cruises is undertaking a phased restart with its science-backed plan for a healthy return to service that protects our guests, crew and communities visited. The robust SailSAFE Health and Safety Program creates multiple layers of protection against COVID-19 and was developed with guidance from our team of public health and scientific experts including the Healthy Sail Panel and the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council.

"At Oceania Cruises, we value health, well-being and safety above all else. Our guests, our crew, and, of course, the many amazing, dedicated people who work with us in the destinations we travel to are the very lifeblood of our business and we'll do everything in our power to safeguard their health and safety," stated Binder.

Full details on our SailSAFE protocols can be found here. These protocols will be continuously evolved and refined using the best available science and technology.

When the line's ships start sailing again, beginning with Marina in August 2021, guests will be delighted with an array of truly surprising enhancements to the brand's already acclaimed culinary experience and onboard service.

"Our guests have been waiting a long time for this moment. We know that when our guests return, we want to not just welcome them back to the Oceania Cruises they remember and cherish, but also to exceed their expectations by elevating the dining experiences and service levels. We'll be sharing more information about these exciting developments in the coming weeks," added Binder.

Azamara Announces Return to Sail with Greek Itineraries Starting in August
Azamara announced this week that Azamara Quest will return to the high seas beginning August 28, 2021 with five back-to-back Country-Intensive Voyages and one classic Mediterranean sailing; each seven-days in length and a total of 18 late-night stays in port, including Santorini, Rhodes and Heraklion, Greece.

"Over the past year, our team – ship to shoreside – continued to connect with our guests and travel partners. Our biggest takeaway is the desire everyone has to sail again, and we are excited to share that we can finally make this dream come true," said President of Azamara, Carol Cabezas. "There's no better way to return to service than in a country Azamara knows best, Greece. Our return to sail wouldn't be possible without the support from Honorable Minister Harry Theoharis, the local government and port authorities, and we are extremely grateful for welcoming us back into this beautiful and culturally rich destination."

"We're looking forward to welcoming Azamara and its guests in Greece in August," says Honorable Minister Harry Theoharis. "We fully support the line's return to cruising in the Aegean waters and we are sure that all of its passengers will have unique experiences in our beautiful destinations.''

Voyages will open for booking on May 11, 2021. With the health and safety of guests and crew being the top priority for the return to sail, Azamara has made the decision to require all guests and crew to be fully vaccinated no later than 14-days prior to departure. Once the sailings open for booking, the upmarket cruise line will reveal protocol guidelines led by the Healthy Sail Panel, to reassure guests a healthy return to service.

With travel requirements remaining unconfirmed throughout most of Europe, all sailings aboard Azamara Journey and Azamara Pursuit will be suspended until September 2021. Current Azamara Quest sailings through October 2, 2021 are also suspended, with the new Country-Intensive voyages beginning August 28, 2021. Guests impacted by summer suspensions will be offered a number of flexible options to rebook or request refunds for current reservations. Guests looking to book these new voyages and other Azamara cruises can still take advantage of Azamara's "Cruise with Confidence" benefits, offering flexibility for fully paid reservations booked by May 31, 2021 for sailings through April 30, 2022.

Greece Highlights:

Medieval, ancient wonders of Rhodes, Greece:  Known as the Island of the Knights, guests can visit ancient wonders including the Colossus of Rhodes, a statue of the Greek sun-god Helios and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Stunning architecture and ruins of Heraklion, Greece: The fourth largest city in Greece, guests can explore Heraklion's architectural marvels including The Bronze Age Palace of Knossos, an ancient palace with ruins dating back to the early Minoan period.

Volcanic splendors and stunning sunset in Santorini, Greece: Santorini was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. Travelers can sail the caldera or discover the ancient ruins of Akrotiri by day and soak in the sunset views from Azamara Quest, as nightfall descends upon the island.

Ancient Delos and beautiful beaches of Mykonos, Greece: Step back in time to mythological Delos, birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and historic UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests can explore the hidden corners and captivating coastline of Mykonos by 4X4 or caique, a traditional wooden boat.

A blend of old and new in the coastal city of Limassol, Cyprus: Travelers can visit the last divided capital of the world, Nicosia, shared by Cyprus and Turkey. Byzantine landmarks, tales of the Crusades, or ventures into the countryside to explore the fruit orchards, olive groves and vineyards await.

Costa Unveils Summer 2021 Cruise Vacations In Mediterranean
Summer is approaching, and with it the desire and the possibility to finally plan moments of leisure, relaxation and vacation with blue sea and yellow sun. These are precisely the colors of Costa Cruises, which today announces its programs for the 2021 summer, with enhanced health and safety protocols and exciting new features for cruises to beautiful destinations in the Mediterranean.

Featuring extended stays at ports of call and organized shore excursions exclusive to Costa guests, the Italian company's Mediterranean cruises will include two ships in the west and two in the east with sailings to Italy, France, Spain and Greece, and itineraries accessible from 13 different ports of embarkation. Each ship will also feature the Costa Safety Protocol, which includes enhanced health and safety procedures for all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore, which were implemented in the past months of cruise operations.

"We have updated our program for this summer based on a scenario of port and destination re-openings that is becoming increasingly clear and that now allows us to better plan our operations and offer extraordinary cruise vacations to the many guests who look forward to relaxing and memorable holidays," said Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Cruises. "We decided to focus on destinations in the Mediterranean, close to our European guests, that can be discovered or re-discovered in a truly unique way. Now we can finally say that the Costa summer begins, and we cannot wait to welcome our loyal guests as well as newcomers – all of whom can count on us for high-quality service, dining and entertainment, wonderful destinations and an exceptional onboard experience with enhanced safety protocols."

The new summer itineraries will feature extended stops in ports of call to allow guests to spend more time on shore. Costa will also introduce a renewed program of excursions that will allow guests to discover off-the-beaten-path locations that are exclusive for Costa guests. The onboard experience will be further enriched by new menu options featuring "destination dishes" linked to the locations visited by Costa ships.

Costa's two newest and most innovative ships will operate in the Western Mediterranean: Costa Smeralda, the LNG-powered flagship, and Costa Firenze, the new ship inspired by the Florentine Renaissance and delivered last December, which will experience a real debut.

As already announced, the first ship to depart will be Costa Smeralda, on May 1, which will take guests to beautiful Italian locations on three- and four-day mini-cruises that will make it possible to enjoy a shorter experience or, alternatively, a week-long cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari. This Italian itinerary will be extended until July 3, when the ship will return to offer week-long cruises visiting Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Palermo and Civitavecchia.

Cruises in Italy will continue to be available on Costa Firenze, which will set sail on her first trip on July 4, with an all-Italian itinerary that includes Savona, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Naples, Messina and Cagliari. From September 12 until mid-October, Costa Firenze will also be offering one-week international cruises including Savona, Civitavecchia, Naples, Ibiza, Barcelona and Marseilles.

On the eastern side of the Mediterranean, two other ships will sail, the twins Costa Luminosa and Costa Deliziosa.

Costa Luminosa is confirmed to depart on May 16 from Trieste, and the following day from Bari, focusing on the Greek destinations of Corfu, Piraeus (Athens), Mykonos and Katakolon.

Costa Deliziosa will resume cruises from June 26, offering a week-long itinerary with Venice, an extended one-day and one-night stop in Mykonos, followed by Katakolon, Corfu and Bari.

Costa is working with the national and local authorities of the countries included in the itineraries of its ships to define in detail the modalities of its operations.

The summer season in Northern Europe and all other cruises scheduled until mid-September 2021 not included in the itineraries updated today, are cancelled due to the level of uncertainty on the reopening of several destinations which does not currently guarantee the feasibility of the itineraries. Costa is in the process of informing travel agents and customers affected by the changes with detailed information ship by ship.

Seabourn, Barbados Partnering To Launch Summer Luxury Cruises From July 2021
Seabourn cruise line, together with the Government of Barbados, is developing plans to restart guest sailings on a second ship through a series of new summer voyages operating round-trip out of Bridgetown, Barbados, beginning on July 18, 2021.

The brand also previously announced plans to resume guest operations in Greece aboard Seabourn Ovation starting July 3. More details on those plans are available here.

Seabourn Odyssey Caribbean

Seabourn Odyssey will operate 7-day cruises from Barbados to Southern Caribbean destinations, including idyllic ports of call in Antigua, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and St. Kitts. The voyages are open for booking on April 21. Guests can also choose a 14-day option, which combines the two distinct 7-day itineraries between Windward and Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea. Previously released itineraries for Fall 2021 sailings include additional port calls in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guadeloupe, and Martinique.

The itineraries include unique Seabourn experiences that become highlights of every traveler's trip. The "Caviar in the Surf" at Carambola Beach has become a perennial favorite, allowing guests to enjoy beautiful beaches while Seabourn team members wade through turquoise water to serve chilled caviar and Champagne. The day also includes a lavish barbeque lunch featuring grilled lobster, fresh fruit and other delicious dishes. A Marina Day is also scheduled, where the ship's staff treats guests to an afternoon of active watersports operated directly from a platform on the back of the ship.

"We are grateful to be working in concert with the Government of Barbados to restart tourism in Barbados and the Caribbean Sea," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "The entire Seabourn family is energized to provide our award-winning service, dining and entertainment on board Seabourn Odyssey starting again this July."

"We look forward to welcoming Seabourn back to our shores and are pleased with the outlook for the restart of the cruise industry," said Sen. the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport for Barbados. "Safe travel is our priority, and placing vaccinations and other key public health travel protocols at the core of our cruise industry restart will not only restore traveler confidence, but also offer comfort to visitors and Barbadians alike."

Each sailing also features a sea day for time spent on board enjoying venues like Earth & Ocean for al fresco dining, cooling off with artisanal gelato made fresh daily by the culinary team, or a host of activities available aboard Seabourn Odyssey. Those who prefer quiet relaxation can find a comfortable chair in Seabourn Square to read or even take time to watch the scenery go by on deck or from their private furnished veranda in their suite.

The series of voyages are open to any guests that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. "Fully vaccinated" is a minimum of 14 days following the first or second dose (for those vaccines requiring two doses) of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines being administered. Proof of vaccination and the dates given will be required. Approved forms of documentation will be confirmed closer to time of departure and must be shown at the terminal prior to boarding. Seabourn team members will also be vaccinated.

Seabourn guests will be required to comply with all health protocols that may be in place at the time of their departure. Travelers should check on travel requirements regularly, for both inbound travel to Barbados and their return home, since policies continue to change based on the latest advice.

Additional initial preventive health measures under Seabourn's "Travel Safe" program will also be in place, including health screening questionnaires, face mask requirements, physical distancing and capacity controls for indoor venues, as well as enhanced environmental sanitation and upgraded high efficiency air filtration in the heating & cooling system. The brand's protocols are subject to change as work continues in collaboration with medical experts and government bodies to ensure the practices evolve in line with the latest advice. Seabourn's priority is to protect the health and well-being of our guests, team members, and the people in the communities the brand visits. More details on the protocols are available on the Seabourn website.

Seabourn is finalizing additional details for these voyages, including more information on the shoreside experiences, and will share them in the coming weeks. They will also be posted on the Seabourn website. Guests are encouraged to book early for best suite selection, and the brand will offer flexible cancellation terms through Book with Confidence as well.

On Earth Day, Carnival Cruise Line Releases Video Showcasing Eco-Friendly LNG Fuel Technology
In conjunction with Earth Day, Carnival Cruise Line today released a new video, "LNG Powers the Fun," highlighting the many environmental benefits of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), a groundbreaking fuel technology that will be utilized on two new ships, Mardi Gras, set to debut later this year from Port Canaveral, Fla., and Carnival Celebration, scheduled to enter service from PortMiami in 2022.

Working closely with the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, its energy and technology partner, Shell, the teams at Port Canaveral and PortMiami, and a host of other parties, Carnival is the first cruise line to bring LNG to North America on these two 180,000-ton Excel-class ships, its newest and most innovative vessels.

Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration are among nine Excel-class ships from Carnival Corporation to employ this eco-friendly fuel, one of the cleanest in the world, significantly reducing emissions with cleaner exhaust.

The video explains how LNG works and why it's a game changer, while detailing the various new technologies and processes, both on board and on shore, necessary for LNG propulsion, everything from engine designs, fuel containment systems, and the accompanying new engine parts to comprehensive training for shipboard officers and engineers.

New terminal facilities were built at Port Canaveral and are under construction at PortMiami. Shell has chartered the state-of-the-art QLNG 4000 fuel barge to facilitate bunkering Mardi Gras while Port Canaveral has also acquired a purpose-built fire boat to support the LNG provider's tug.

LNG is part of Carnival's comprehensive sustainability and environmental efforts to reduce energy consumption and its environmental footprint, underscoring its commitment to preserving and protecting water, air and land resources. These efforts also include advanced waste water treatment systems, advanced air quality systems, shore power connection capabilities, and comprehensive waste management, recycling and energy conservation programs, complementing many initiatives to reduce single-use plastics on board.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 27.55 + 2.45%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 86.94 + 3.77%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.06 + 5.26%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 30.22 + 8.04%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which was the first cruise ship to be enlarged by having an 85 foot mid-section inserted? As a result of this surgery, her capacity increased from 876 to over 1,200.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Just outside of the Britannia Restaurant on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 are a series of metallic, art deco-influenced frescoes celebrating the historical and cultural icons of the continents. In addition to the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol on the "North America" mural there is a very tiny and surprising representative of the continent? Can you name him/her?

Answer - The american pop-culture icon immortalized in the North American mural on QM2 is none other than Homer Simpson.
courtesy of Brian O'Leary -- Montreal, Canada


Cruise News - April 19, 2021

Viking Takes Delivery Of Newest Ocean Ship
Viking today announced it took delivery of Viking Venus, the company's newest ocean ship. The delivery ceremony took place this morning when the ship was presented at Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, Italy. Viking Venus will now make her way to the United Kingdom, where she will be officially named on May 17, 2021 by her ceremonial godmother, Anne Diamond, the esteemed British journalist and broadcaster. The ship will then sail spring and summer departures of the England's Scenic Shores itinerary.

"We are especially proud to welcome our newest ship to the fleet this year. Many of us have stayed close to home for months, so this is an important milestone as we begin to get back out into the world again," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We look forward to celebrating the naming of Viking Venus by her esteemed godmother, Anne Diamond—and to welcoming our UK guests back on board next month."

For more than a year, Anne Diamond has been a key figure on Viking's award-winning enrichment channel, Viking.TV (www.viking.tv). Viking.TV went live in March 2020, in the early stages of the pandemic, and was conceived as a way to build community, stay connected and share positive experiences while people are staying home, rather than traveling. Every Thursday since the launch of Viking.TV, Anne has interviewed a wide spectrum of significant figures with relationships to Viking, including world-renowned cellist and humanitarian Yo-Yo Ma; Xander Parish, principal ballet dancer at the Mariinsky Theatre; the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon; the Duke of Devonshire; explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison, OBE; former PBS MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton, OBE; Downton Abbey's "Mrs. Patmore," actress Lesley Nicol; polar explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft; NASA astronauts Dr. Anna Fisher, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan and Dr. Richard Michael Linnehan; classical musicians Alma and Helen Deutscher; legendary British actor, broadcaster and writer Sir Michael Palin; celebrity chefs Eric Ripert, Andreas Viestad and Ainsley Harriot, MBE; bestselling authors Jeffrey Archer, Claire Cook, Robert Harris and Paul Schneider; and Kyle MacLachlan, Sofia Helin and Alexander Eik, the lead actors and the creator of the new PBS MASTERPIECE series, Atlantic Crossing.

Today's news follows Viking's recent announcement that it is restarting operations with a collection of new itineraries in England, Bermuda and Iceland beginning in May 2021. All of Viking's new Welcome Back voyages are available exclusively for vaccinated guests, in accordance with local entry rules in many of the destinations that will welcome Viking ships—and as a complement to the Viking Health & Safety Program, which was designed to protect guests and crew even while the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is still moving forward.

Silversea Cruises Unveils Details On Its Return To Sailing
With demand at an all-time high, Silversea Cruises today opened sales on brand new voyages aboard Silver Moon to the Eastern Mediterranean, departing from Greece from June 18, 2021. The leading ultra-luxury cruise line unveiled a collection of nine voyages—each 10 days in length—which will sail round-trip from Piraeus (Athens), taking in many of Greece's most beautiful destinations, such as Santorini, Paros, Mykonos, and Crete, among others, as well as Haifa (Israel) and Cyprus.

"The entire team at Silversea, our colleagues at the Royal Caribbean Group, and our loyal guests have been waiting for this incredible news for over one year. We are delighted to open general sales on our new Silver Moon itineraries in the Eastern Mediterranean," says Roberto Martinoli, President and CEO of Silversea Cruises. "Our guests are yearning to continue their travels, exemplified by the unprecedented demand we are currently registering. We are excited to introduce them to our beautiful new flagship Silver Moon, as they travel deep into Greece, Israel, and Cyprus. On behalf of the entire Silversea team and our valued guests, we extend our deepest gratitude to Greece's Honorable Minister Harry Theoharis, Ministry of Tourism – Hellenic Republic; port authorities; and other governing bodies for their valued support and their openness to collaboration. Greece has long constituted a key destination for our cruise line and we are thrilled to resume sailing in this magnificent part of the world."

"We welcome the announcement of Silversea Cruises' restart from Greece,'' says Honorable Minister Harry Theoharis.'' Once again, travellers will have the opportunity to discover our beautiful destinations and create memories to last a lifetime. We fully support the recommencement of cruising, as it is a very important pillar of our tourism strategy."

TRAVELLING DEEP INTO GREECE, CYPRUS, AND ISRAEL

During her inaugural season, Silversea's new flagship Silver Moon will take travellers deep into the Eastern Mediterranean, calling in many of the region's most beautiful destinations. To protect guests' health and safety, guests will only be allowed to leave the ship on Silversea's verified shore excursions which will be included in the fare—one included shore experience per day, from a selection in each port—with premium verified shore experiences available at an additional charge. Offering guests the possibility of combining voyages for extended exploration, the new collection includes the following sample itineraries:

Piraeus (Athens) to Piraeus (Athens) – June 18-Jun 28
Silver Moon's maiden voyage will depart Piraeus (Athens) on June 18, calling in some of Greece's and Cyprus' most beautiful destinations, including Syros, Paros, Patmos, Rhodes, Limassol, Heraklion, and Mykonos, before returning to Piraeus (Athens) on June 28. In Limassol, the ancient grandeur of Cyprus will come alive as guests discover Petra tou Romiou, or 'Aphrodite's Rock', the breathtaking mosaics of Paphos at the House of Dionysos, and the 3rd-century Tomb of the Kings. A verified shore experience in Rhodes will unlock the destination's medieval past, with travellers stepping back in time in the walled Old City, the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Avenue of the Knights, and the Archaeological Museum, among other mesmerising highlights. Two days at sea will enable guests to discover the remarkable enrichments aboard Silver Moon, including those unlocked through the new S.A.L.T. programme, which will take guests deeper into each destination by showcasing the most engaging stories around food and drink. Silversea's President's Ambassador to the Venetian Society, Fernando Barroso de Oliveira, will accompany guests on this momentous voyage, gladly reconnecting with the Silversea family.

Piraeus (Athens) to Piraeus (Athens) – Jun 28-July 8
After departing Piraeus (Athens) on June 28, guests travelling aboard Silver Moon will spend a day at sea, relaxing under the warm Mediterranean sunshine—perhaps with a cocktail on the pool deck. After discovering the delights of Limassol in Cyprus, guests will journey on to Ashdod (Jerusalem) and Haifa (Nazareth) in Israel, before travelling to Rhodes, Aghios Nikolaos and Souda Bay in Crete, and Santorini. Travellers will have the opportunity to visit some of history's most sacred and important sites in Jerusalem, including the Room of the Last Supper, the Tomb of King David, and Dormition Abbey, while touring the Old City. Spectacular scenery and laid-back village life await in Santorini's Oia, considered by many as the Cyclades Islands' most picturesque town. SILVER MOON: PUSHING BOUNDARIES IN ULTRA-LUXURY TRAVEL

Delivered in October 2020, Silver Moon pushes the boundaries of ultra-luxury, immersive travel as the best ship in her class. Taking inspiration from her sister ship, Silver Muse, Silver Moon will maintain the small-ship intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodations that are hallmarks of the Silversea experience, while bringing elements of innovation and an array of enhancements.

With fewer than 300 suites, a personalised service, and a crew-to-guest ratio of almost 1:1, Silver Moon offers unparalleled levels of comfort and physical distancing to ensure guests can travel in unwavering confidence. Among her eight distinct restaurant concepts is the new S.A.L.T. Kitchen, which will serve regionally-inspired cuisine as one of three new venues to comprise Silversea's new S.A.L.T. programme. Elsewhere, guests will continue their culinary discovery of the Eastern Mediterranean's richest food and drink cultures in the S.A.L.T. Bar and the S.A.L.T. Lab—the former of which will serve guests cocktails, spirits and other drinks inspired by the visited destination, while the latter is a test kitchen that will enable guests to get hands-on with the best ingredients from the region.

FULL VACCINATIONS MANDATORY FOR GUESTS AND CREW

Full vaccinations will be mandatory for guests and crew embarking Silver Moon in Greece, forming part of a comprehensive, multi-layered set of science-backed protocols, which, approved by the Royal Caribbean Group's Healthy Sail Panel and the Greek Ministry of Health, will help to safeguard the health and safety of guests, crew, and visited communities. The protocol includes enhanced sanitation procedures, providing the highest standards of cleanliness in travel; increased air filtration to ensure the supply of fresh and filtered air from outdoors; high-quality onboard medical care with state-of-the-art medical equipment; and enhanced medical teams aboard Silver Moon. Silversea will continue to work closely with relevant governing bodies and health authorities to evolve its health and safety procedures, as new health recommendations are issued and as the fluid situation advances.

AIDA Cruises to Offer New Sailings in Greece from May to October
AIDA Cruises today announced it will offer new cruises in Greece from May 23, 2021, with 7-day cruises departing from Corfu and traveling through the Greek islands to Crete and Rhodes, as well as to Katakolon (Olympia) and Piraeus (Athens). Guests can also enjoy the amenities on board with multiple restaurants, bars, cultural activities and sports facilities, as well as organized shore excursions to explore the ports of call.

Greece is one of the most popular vacation destinations for German travelers. From May 14, 2021, the Mediterranean country will reopen for tourism from May 14. Its turquoise waters, fascinating culture, unique Greek flair and more make a vacation in this country so attractive.

Booking starts on 20 April 2021, with 23 dates between 23 May and 24 October 2021 to choose from. The Greek cruises can also be booked as 14-day trips.

In addition to the new offering in Greece, AIDAperla is sailing on seven-day voyages around the Canary Islands through June.

All cruises are carried out in compliance with AIDA's enhanced health and safety protocols, as well as applicable laws and regulations.

With a testing strategy for guests and crew members already utilized on several cruises, it is AIDA's top priority for all guests to safely enjoy their vacation. The enhanced health and safety protocols -- tested by SGS Institut Fresenius and confirmed by the classification society DNV -- includes a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for detecting viruses and bacteria before traveling, as well as regular health checks, social distancing and hygiene protocols, medical care including testing capacities on board and other measures.

With the "AIDA promise," the cruise company offers guests more flexibility and security in planning. Generous booking options are part of AIDA's commitment to its guests, ranging from small down payments to free rebooking. The "AIDA promise" is included in the travel price for new bookings up to May 31, 2021 and applies to departures up to March. 31, 2022.

Cruises in other destinations are unfortunately not possible at this time, with AIDA canceling the remaining voyages of April through May.

AIDA Cruises wishes for all guests to enjoy their planned AIDA vacation. Thanks to the travel offer on the Canary Islands and in Greece, AIDA can offer all affected guests attractive alternatives

Cunard Announces 2022 Event Voyages
Cunard announced today its 2022 line-up of Event Voyages, offering a rich and compelling variety of themes on board flagship liner Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth. Welcoming back guest favorites including the Literature Festival at Sea in partnership with Cheltenham Literature Festival, The Times and The Sunday Times; and much-loved Anthony Inglis and the UK National Symphony of Orchestra, Cunard also introduces the line's first Art & Design Week, and Beatles and Beyond: Celebrating the Best of British. Also joining the roster is the highly anticipated London Theatre at Sea with the Olivier Awards.

Guests will enjoy an opportunity to meet and mingle with renowned authors, West End theatre stars, wax nostalgic with one the world's top Beatles tribute bands, and learn insider views and latest trends with the line's new Art & Design Week.

Every journey offers the opportunity to delve deeper into an existing passion or discover something new, with an enriching program of interactive workshops, masterclasses, performances, and thought provoking speakers and discussions with fellow guests, truly there is something for everyone on board.

"Cunard is excited to again offer an incredible array of Event Voyages in 2022, which have become an eagerly anticipated hallmark of Cunard's on board experience," said Jamie Paiko, vice president of Sales for Cunard North America. "From art and literature to music and design, our guests enjoy the luxury of time to more deeply delve into their passions, and appreciate the opportunity to meet notable luminaries form all over the world. Anticipation is high for the return of Event Voyage favorites, as well as those new to Cunard, and ones we hope will be equally revered in the future," Paiko added.

Here's a taster of what to expect:

15-22 May 2022, Queen Mary 2: London Theatre at Sea, with the Olivier Awards: This eastbound Transatlantic Crossing, created in partnership with Society of London Theatre, will showcase Olivier award-winning talent, both on and off the stage. This Event Voyage will feature spectacular performances and an illustrious line-up of guests in conversation about their careers, as well as talks on productions, how they are produced, and the theatres themselves

Highlights include a dazzling show with the stars in the Royal Court Theatre in a production looking back at the last 45 years of the Olivier Awards; an immersive workshop about the secrets and techniques of putting on a production; and dance classes lead by world class choreographers.

"In May 2022, we can't wait to welcome guests on the London Theatre at Sea Event Voyage - a blend of performances, workshops, talks, dance classes and some special evening shows combine with an extraordinary array of on and off-stage talent to bring theatre to life. The world leading Queen Mary 2 transatlantic experience together with the very best of London theatre will result in an extraordinary week," said Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre. Fares start from $1,399 per person.

8-17 May 2022, Queen Elizabeth: Beatles and Beyond: Queen Elizabeth will sail a nine-night roundtrip voyage departing Tokyo, tracing the shores of Japan and South Korea, and play host to Cunard's first ever Beatles and Beyond: Celebrating the Best of British voyage. Through music, film, tastings and demonstrations, the sailing will celebrate beloved aspects of British culture, culminating in a spectacular finale in the Royal Court Theatre by the superb Bootleg Beatles, the world's leading Beatles tribute band. Fares start from $1,579 per person.

28 August-4 September 2022, Queen Mary 2: Art & Design Week: Cunard's first ever Art & Design Week is a one-of-a-kind experience that will take guests on a journey celebrating the best of design, past, present and future. Unmissable insights, expert-led masterclasses and special on board exhibitions promise to inspire the inner creative life of those who participate. In addition, guests will have an exclusive opportunity to hear from creative influencers at the forefront of design for Cunard's newest ship. Fares start from 1,519 per person.

25 October-1 November 2022, Queen Mary 2: Anthony Inglis and the UK's National Symphony Orchestra: A regular favorite in the Cunard calendar, the UK's National Symphony Orchestra sets sail again with Maestro Anthony Inglis leading the ensemble in memorable orchestral performances in the Royal Court Theatre. Guests will enjoy an evening of all-American music, including Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" after departing New York; and an evening celebrating the best of British music before arriving into Southampton. Charismatic conductor Inglis leads the audience, guest choir, soloists and orchestra in both concerts, as well as presenting another afternoon concert featuring Ravel's "Bolero."

"The annual Transatlantic Crossing by the National Symphony Orchestra and myself is keenly looked forward to by the musicians, as much as the guests on board the magnificent liner, Queen Mary 2," said Anthony Inglis. "After the year we have all had, the orchestra and I have decided that we need a huge celebration in 2022, not only on behalf of the ship and her wonderful crew, but also the guests we have all missed. Therefore, I have planned some exciting surprises, which will be both hugely challenging and equally rewarding. We look forward to welcoming guests for a gigantic, seven-night party with an orchestra playing some favourite classical pieces of music, a choir made up of the guests, plus many other entertaining events as we cross the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Southampton." Fares start from $1,149 per person.

3-10 December 2022, Queen Mary 2: Literature Festival at Sea in partnership with Cheltenham Literature Festival, The Times and The Sunday Times: This extraordinary eastbound Transatlantic Crossing, crafted by the programming team of The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, will offer book lovers the opportunity to join some of the best-loved authors, historians, poets, and critics, as well as journalists from The Times and The Sunday Times, to bring the spirit of the Festival to the voyage.

"We can't wait to be back on the gorgeous Queen Mary 2 for the 2022 Literature Festival on Sea," said Nicola Tuxworth, Head of Programming, The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. "There is something truly magical about sailing across a vast ocean on a beautiful, luxurious ship and listening to some of the world's best writers sharing their stories. The first Festival at Sea was fabulous, an unforgettable seven days – and the 2022 program will be packed with fascinating events for everyone who loves books and brilliant journalism. Whether you want to hear your favorite author discussing their craft, get behind the day's headlines with The Times, or even have a go at writing yourself, why not join us on board?"

This seven-day program of inspiring literary events celebrates the written word in all its variety with workshops, discussions, and Q&As focusing on literature, art, film, history and politics, all underpinned by the quality of delivery that is Cheltenham's hallmark.

Guests will include bestselling authors Ian Rankin, Maggie O'Farrell, Charles Cumming, Sathnam Sanghera, Mick Herron, and Simon Winchester; revered classicist Mary Beard; acclaimed journalists Damian Barr and Rachel Johnson; and Times Red Box Editor, Matt Chorley. More names to be announced.

Viking Announces Additional Sailings For Mississippi River Cruises
Viking announced today that new 2024 sailings of its Mississippi River cruises are now on sale. The company's first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Viking's first river cruises in the U.S. had been highly anticipated when they were officially announced in April 2020, and several sailings have already sold out through the 2023 sailing season. This strong demand has led Viking to open 2024 sailing dates sooner than originally expected.

"We are pleased with the continued response and support we have received from loyal guests and valued partners ahead of our new Mississippi River sailings," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "As we begin to restart ocean operations this spring, we also look forward to a new chapter in 2022 when we begin sailing our first U.S. river voyages."

Viking's arrival to the Mississippi will represent a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river, with the new cruises expected to bring more than 5,800 guests to the region in 2022 and 17,600+ during the first full sailing season in 2023. Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking's new Mississippi River cruises comprise seven U.S. states: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans and St. Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St. Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St. Paul).

2022-2024 Viking Mississippi Voyages

• America's Great River (15 days; New Orleans to St. Paul)—Experience nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River on this incredible journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the northernmost reaches of the U.S. Relax and enjoy the variety of scenery, foliage and wildlife on this leisurely voyage. Enjoy Southern charm and beautifully preserved homes in Natchez; retrace the steps of Civil Rights leaders in Memphis; ascend the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; and visit "The Norwegian Valley" in La Crosse. Multiple sailing dates are now available in June, July, September and October 2023 and 2024.

• America's Heartland (8 days; St. Louis to St. Paul)—From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian migrations; experience the regional music like polka and Norwegian folk; and taste regional cuisine showcasing local beer, produce and Wisconsin cheese. Multiple sailing dates now available August - September 2023 and 2024.

• Heart of the Delta (8 days; New Orleans to Memphis)—This journey on the Lower Mississippi is infused with American history, culture and heritage. Tour the area where the migrating French and Acadians settled; immerse yourself in the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement; discover the music of the South—jazz, blues and gospel; and experience the life and food culture of the south, from Cajun and Creole to the famed "dry" Memphis BBQ. Multiple sailing dates available in November 2022; additional sailing dates are now available in January – June and October – December 2023 and 2024.

• New Orleans & Southern Charm (8 days; New Orleans to New Orleans)—On this exploration of the Lower Mississippi, walk the historic estates and learn about Civil War history at notable sites. The roundtrip journey from New Orleans will allow guests to sample Cajun and Creole cuisine while taking in the sights and sounds of the French-influenced ports including Baton Rouge, Darrow and more in Louisiana and Mississippi. Multiple sailing dates available in November – December 2022; additional sailing dates are now available in January and December 2023 and 2024.

• Mississippi Holiday Season (8 days; Memphis to New Orleans) – In December 2022, guests will discover the Lower Mississippi during a special holiday voyage. The eight-day journey will include exclusive Privileged Access to Graceland, decorated for the season; Cajun cuisine and shopping excursions; a visit to marvel the light displays and decorated historic homes in Natchez and Baton Rouge. Onboard festivities will include special celebratory regional dining and treats for the holidays. Multiple sailing dates available in December 2022. Viking Mississippi Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking's award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship's cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the most modern cruise ship in the region. Highlights of the new ship include:

• All Outside Staterooms: Guests can choose from an unparalleled seven spacious stateroom categories that range from 268 sq. ft to 1,024 sq. ft: Veranda, French Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite and Explorer Suite. All staterooms feature a private veranda or French balcony, king-size bed with luxury linens, large flat-screen interactive TV, mini-bar, large glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and 24-hour room service.

• Viking Suites: Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites on the river, with every suite featuring two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious sitting room. Guests in Penthouse Jr. Suites (400 sq. ft.) and Terrace Suites (425 sq. ft.) receive early stateroom access; expanded double-sink bathroom; mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water and snacks replenished daily; welcome champagne; and laundry, pressing and shoe shine services. Guests in the expansive Explorer Suites (657 sq. ft. to 1,024 sq. ft) also receive a wraparound veranda and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package.

• Explorers' Lounge & The Bow: Familiar to Viking's ocean guests as one of the most popular onboard public spaces, Viking Mississippi will also feature an Explorers' Lounge near the bow of the ship. The sun-filled, two-story Explorers' Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, a unique outdoor seating area at the front of the ship where guests can relax and enjoy ever-changing riverside views.

• River Café: From American classics to Mamsen's Norwegian specialties, this indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer alternative restaurant dining in a casual al fresco setting.

• Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by many of Viking's ocean and river guests, Viking Mississippi will also feature a revolutionary Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for an American barbecue experience. Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining options on the Mississippi.

• Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to take a dip while fully surrounded by their destination.

• The Living Room: Clean Scandinavian design paired with American influences, the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment. Nearby, the quiet corner of The Library, is a perfect place to discover a new book.

• The Restaurant: This main dining venue on Deck 1 will serve daily-changing menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and always available classics prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Full 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Guests can stroll the entire ship outside on Deck 1, stretching their legs while viewing scenic landscape and regional wildlife.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking creating The Thinking Person's Cruise. A focus on cultural enrichment on board Viking Mississippi means that guests will enjoy Destination Performances that represent the most iconic music of the region—as well as Guest Lecturers that shed light on the region's art, architecture, history, culture, natural world and more. And only The Viking Way of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Privileged Access, Local Life and Working World experiences, opening doors to places otherwise difficult to visit. On Viking's Mississippi River itineraries, guests may choose to take a guided kayaking trip in the Louisiana bayou; visit a working farm in Quad Cities; or immerse themselves in Cajun culture during a Privileged Access excursion to the Rural Life Museum of Louisiana State University. Viking Inclusive Value: Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Cruise fares include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.

Seabourn Reveals Fall, Winter & Spring 2022-2023 Voyages
Seabourn invites travelers to discover regions of remarkable beauty and culture in the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Asia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans, with voyages scheduled during fall, winter and spring 2022-2023.

An innovative range of itineraries is offered throughout each region, with sailings in the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, along the coasts of Australia and New Zealand, and throughout greater Asia, including voyages of seven to 35 days. The entire Seabourn fleet will be on the move to popular cities, hidden gems, and destinations accessible only to smaller ships. Key highlights include Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Ovation sailing to the Caribbean, Seabourn Encore traveling into Southeast Asia from the Mediterranean and Middle East, Seabourn Quest transiting the Panama Canal to explore the western coasts of Central America, and Seabourn Odyssey visiting Australia, New Zealand, and countries throughout the Pacific Rim. Additionally, there will be options to combine cruises to experience even more of our extraordinary world.

"Our guests have asked us to release Seabourn itineraries earlier and earlier to plan future travel. We are excited to have our 2022 and 2023 cruise offerings for guests to book and experience 'the Seabourn Difference' from the Caribbean to the Panama Canal and Australia to Asia," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Every year brings new routes and destinations for our guests to experience the exclusive travel opportunities that we offer."

Seabourn's seasonal itineraries are designed to appeal to travelers of every kind, with a variety of onshore outings available to experience at every port. True maiden ports on the schedule include Port Royal, Jamaica, and Tioman Island, Malaysia, while those the line hasn't visited in at least five years include Hillsborough, Carriacou, Grenada; San Juan de Sur, Nicaragua; Quepos, Costa Rica; Baubau, Butung, Indonesia; and Tsuruga, Toyama, Sakata, Ishinomaki, Hitachinaka, and Miyako, Japan.

Travelers who covet outdoor adventures will also find the Ventures by Seabourn optional for-charge expedition-style excursion program in select destinations, including Australia and New Zealand voyages.

Seabourn voyages for fall, winter, and spring 2022-2023 include:

CARIBBEAN

For the first time, Seabourn Ovation will cruise the Caribbean from December 2022 to April 2023 with three seven-day sailings round trip to Barbados, as well as 10 seven-day voyages between Barbados and St. Maarten. The holidays will shine as bright as the Caribbean sun, with the ship offering a 10-day Antillean Holiday cruise starting December 17, 2022, and visiting the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and more, followed by an 11-day Caribbean New Year voyage starting December 27 and featuring the best of the Caribbean, Martinique, Antigua, Barbuda and more. The ship's Caribbean season will wrap up in April with an eight-day Atlantic Sunrises cruise between Barbados & Miami.

Following a 12-day Autumn Atlantic Sojourn crossing the ocean from Lisbon to Miami, Seabourn Sojourn will sail the Caribbean from November 2022 to January 2023, offering three 11-day Gems of the Leeward Islands voyages and one 16-day Holiday Caribbean Sojourn, all heading round trip out of Miami to visit iconic island destinations such as San Juan, St. Barts, the hidden harbors of Guadeloupe and Jost Van Dyke, and more.

Immersive experiences scheduled for guests exploring the Caribbean on Seabourn Sojourn or Seabourn Ovation include the line's popular Caviar in the Surf with uniformed crew plunging into the crystal-blue Caribbean Sea to offer iced Champagne and caviar served via surfboard bar, as well as fun-filled Marina Day, with complimentary watersports from a beach or the unique, retractable Marina platform on the stern of each ship.

PANAMA CANAL

Seabourn Quest will explore the Panama Canal, sailing four 14-day Panama Canal Quest voyages between Miami and Fuerte Amador (Panama City) during November and December 2022. Beyond its remarkable transit of twisting waterways that were carved through jungle wilderness, the voyages will offer guests opportunities to discover remnants of ancient Mayan civilizations, vibrant cultures that outlived their colonial beginnings in Mexico and Costa Rica, and amazing tropical destinations in Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and more.

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Seabourn Odyssey will sail the coasts of Australia and New Zealand during peak whale-watching season from December 2022 to March 2023, with five 16-day voyages between Sydney and Auckland taking in iconic Fjordland National Park, Kalkoura on New Zealand's South Island, and more. There will also be a single 14-day New Zealand Yacht Harbors voyage focused on great yacht harbors like Timaru, Lyttelton (Christchurch), and New Plymouth, and a 16-day Queensland Coast & Orchard Isles voyage that will head toward Indonesia. Travelers will have the option of keeping their adventure going with a pre- or post-cruise Seabourn Journey to The Red Center & Great Barrier Reef, with exploration of Sydney's historic Rocks precinct and Botanical Garden, as well as a private tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House; a flight to Australia's Red Center region to tour the 500-million-year-old red rock domes of Kata Tjuta and The Olgas; a cruise on the Daintree River and guided forest walk to the Botanical Ark in UNESCO World Heritage Daintree National Park; and a full day of snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef from a luxury catamaran.

ASIA

Following its season in Australia and New Zealand, Seabourn Odyssey will spend spring 2023 in Asia, sailing through Indonesia and the Philippines, and along the coasts of China, Japan and Taiwan with voyages ranging from 14 to 35 days. The 14-day Gems of Indonesia & South China Sea from Bali to Hong Kong will provide an in-depth exploration of Indonesia and Philippines, while the 14-day China & Gems of Japan from Hong Kong to Kobe will feature an overnight in Shanghai, calls in Japan and Taiwan, and a highlight visit to Okinawa, known as "the Japanese Hawaii." The 14-day Island Jewels of Japan will circumnavigate the country, traveling from Kobe to Yokohama with featured destinations including "Japan's Venice" Ishinomaki, where tens of thousands of Jewish refugees fled during World War II. And don't miss The Kuroshio Route, Seabourn Odyssey's 21-day cruise from Yokohama to Vancouver with an overnight in Petropavlovsk in Russia before crossing the north Pacific to Alaska.

Seabourn Encore will explore a different side of Asia, spending December 2022 to April 2023 traveling from Athens to Hong Kong. Offerings en route will include a 17-day Holy Land & Arabian Gems cruise from Athens to Dubai with highlight stops including Petra, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Muscat; and a 16-day Pearls of Arabia & India, from Dubai to Singapore, including an overnight stay in Mumbai. The ship will then offer the line's perennially popular 14-day Vietnam, Thailand & Cambodia voyages between Singapore and Hong Kong, which will alternate with a 16-day voyage visiting the Philippines, China and Malaysia. These highly popular sailings feature visits to Halong Bay in Vietnam and overnight stays in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Manila, and Bangkok, as well as optional overland tours from Sihanoukville to Ho Chi Minh City, and to Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious monument by land area. Seabourn Encore will finish up in Asia with a 19-day Jewels of India & Arabia cruise between Singapore and Dubai, and a 17-day Arabia, Egypt & the Holy Land cruise back to Athens.

Holland America Line Introduces 'Have It All' Premium Package
For travelers who appreciate taking an inclusive vacation with extra amenities factored upfront into the price, Holland America Line is launching a new "Have It All" premium package that includes shore excursions, beverages, specialty dining and Wi-Fi in one base cruise fare.

Available year-round on all itineraries six days or longer except Grand Voyages, "Have It All" is valued at $99 per guest, per day, for a seven-day cruise, and "Have it All" cruise fares represent incredible savings of 50% or more off the included amenities compared to purchasing them individually. "Have it All" fares will be available for booking April 21, 2021.

"We conducted extensive research with experienced cruisers and travel partners to understand what they find most valuable when purchasing a cruise and the results overwhelmingly pointed toward one simple fare that included our top amenities," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Our past promotions that offered these perks have been extremely popular, so we created a premium package that is available all the time and on nearly all our cruises."

More Value and Convenience with "Have It All"

In addition to all of the amenities that typically come with a standard cruise fare, "Have It All" also includes four high-value extras in the fare with more amenities as the length of cruise increase.

Cruises of 6 to 9 days:

• One shore excursion up to $100 value or $100 off any one tour for all guests in a stateroom. Choose from among thousands of tours all over the world – from active ziplining adventures to immersive, historical explorations.

• Signature Beverage Package for all guests in a stateroom. Enjoy a large selection of wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, soda, coffee and more. Up to 15 drinks per day allowed, and bar service charges are included.

• One night award-winning specialty dining for all guests in a stateroom. Pinnacle Grill is the ultimate steakhouse at sea, while Tamarind showcases the traditions of Southeast Asia, China and Japan with sensuous flavors and dishes. Canaletto is a relaxed venue that serves authentic Italian cuisine. Ships with Tamarind receive one night at Tamarind or Pinnacle Grill. Ships without Tamarind receive one night at Pinnacle Grill or Canaletto.

• A Wi-Fi package for the first and second guests in a stateroom.

Cruises of 10 to 20 days:

• All of the extras included in the package for six- to nine-day cruises, PLUS an additional $100 shore excursion or tour credit ($200 per guest total).

• Two nights specialty dining: ships with Tamarind receive one night at Pinnacle Grill and one night at Tamarind. Ships without Tamarind receive one night at Pinnacle Grill and one night at Canaletto.

Cruises of 21+ days (excluding Grand Voyages):

• All of the extras included in the package for 10- to 20-day cruises, PLUS an additional $100 shore excursion or tour credit ($300 per guest total).

• Three nights specialty dining: Ships with Tamarind receive one night at Pinnacle Grill, one night at Tamarind and one night at Canaletto. Ships without Tamarind receive two nights at Pinnacle Grill and one night at Canaletto.

When guests go to book a Holland America Line cruise, the "Have It All" fare is presented as an option with the included perks already factored into the price across all stateroom and suite categories. Guests who prefer to cruise without all of the extras have the option of a standard fare when making a booking. Each guest in a stateroom must book the "Have it All" cruise fare to receive the extras.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 26.89 - 3.10%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 83.78 - 3.77%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.57 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 27.97 - 4.41%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Just outside of the Britannia Restaurant on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 are a series of metallic, art deco-influenced frescoes celebrating the historical and cultural icons of the continents. In addition to the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol on the "North America" mural there is a very tiny and surprising representative of the continent? Can you name him/her?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Morro Castle caught fire in the Atlantic on a Booze Cruise to Havana. 134 Died and the hulk grounded on the Jersey shore.
courtesy of Jeff Fostik


Cruise News - April 12, 2021

Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are Sending Ships to St. Vincent to Evacuate Residents
Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are sending ships to St. Vincent in the Caribbean to evacuate residents currently at risk from a potential eruption of the island’s La Soufriere volcano, which has seen increasing activity in recent days.

Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas docked at the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent to help evacuate residents after the eruption of La Soufriere volcano.

Both cruise lines are working closely with St. Vincent authorities to assist residents most at risk. Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity’s Celebrity Reflection are on their way to the island nation and expected to arrive later this evening to assist with evacuation efforts.

All precautions will be taken to protect the health and safety of the crew and passengers who board our ships.

Holland America Line Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Private Bahamian Island Half Moon Cay
The Caribbean evokes images of white-sand beaches, balmy breezes and sun-kissed skies, but a cruise to the Caribbean with Holland America Line delves beyond the beauty and immerses guests in the local way of life. For the 2022-23 season, seven ships will explore the traditions and tranquility of the region — including the two newest Pinnacle Class ships — on itineraries roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Holland America Line's island-hopping adventures sail from October 2022 through April 2023 and feature five- to 14-day itineraries to the eastern, western and southern regions, including sailings that spend a day discovering the Panama Canal. All Caribbean cruises include a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private Bahamian island, and the 2022-23 season commemorates the 25th anniversary of the line's acquisition of the tropical jewel.

Guests can book a Caribbean cruise aboard Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Zuiderdam and one holiday cruise on Zaandam.

Travel magazines have repeatedly named Half Moon Cay the industry's best private island, and it is consistently ranked the highest-rated Caribbean port by Holland America Line guests. The quintessential and quaint sanctuary has evolved into a playground for cruise guests, and features the finest beach in the Caribbean, a natural 700-acre lagoon, two-story villas and private cabanas, delicious dining venues like Lobster Shack, a children's waterpark and a variety of shore excursions for nature lovers, adventure-seekers and explorers.

During the 2022-23 season, Holland America Line's two newest ships will explore the islands of the Caribbean, offering more guests the opportunity to experience the tropics from the privacy of a verandah stateroom. Plus, family and single staterooms, unique to Pinnacle Class ships, provide additional configurations to meet the needs of guests. The two ships also feature all Holland America Line Music Walk venues and specialty restaurants.

Holland America Line's ships explore the Caribbean on a variety of routes:

Eastern Caribbean

Ports: Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Length: 7 days
Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Zuiderdam

Ports: Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Half Moon Cay
Length: 5 days, one departure Dec. 18, 2022
Ship: Nieuw Amsterdam

Western Caribbean

Ports: Combination of Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth or Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Key West, Florida; Half Moon Cay
Length: 7 days
Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Zuiderdam

Southern Caribbean

Ports: Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curaçao; Half Moon Cay
Length: 7 days
Ships: Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Zuiderdam

Ports: Combination of Basseterre, St. Kitts; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Philipsburg, Sint Maarten; Saint Georges, Grenada; Amber Cove; Aruba; Curaçao; Grand Turk; Half Moon Cay; San Juan; St. Thomas
Length: 9, 10, 11 or 14 days
Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Zaandam

Tropical Caribbean

Ports: Amber Cove, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, Key West
Length: 7 days
Ships: Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam

Partial Sunfarer Panama Canal

Ports: Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Aruba, Curaçao, Half Moon Cay, Panama Canal partial transit (Gatun Lake/scenic)
Length: 10 or 11 days
Ship: Eurodam, Volendam

Holiday Cruises

Eastern: Rotterdam (Dec. 21), Nieuw Amsterdam (Dec. 23), Volendam (Dec. 27), Eurodam (Dec. 28)
Western: Eurodam (Dec. 21), Zuiderdam (Dec. 22), Rotterdam (Dec. 28)|
Southern: Nieuw Statendam (Dec. 17, 27), Zaandam (Dec. 20), Zuiderdam (Dec. 29), Nieuw Amsterdam (Dec. 30),
Partial Panama Canal: Volendam (Dec. 17)

During a December holiday cruise, guests can take part in a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, enjoy traditional holiday meals with all the trimmings and indulge in a special Royal Dutch High Tea with fanciful holiday cookies and pastries. The ships' international crew chorus performs a magical holiday show, while caroling and sing-alongs take place around the ship. Offering something for all ages, kids will delight in a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts. The New Year's Eve sailings are the ideal setting to ring in a new year, featuring a festive holiday ball with a Champagne toast and followed by a day of college football bowl games.

Many of the cruises can be extended into Collectors' Voyages to create the ultimate Caribbean exploration with more economical fares than booking the cruises individually. Ranging from 12 to 21 days, these longer journeys combine nonrepeating, back-to-back itineraries, enabling guests to span more than one Caribbean region and enjoy the ultimate island-hopping journey.

Throughout each cruise, EXC programming brings the Caribbean's local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life. Guests can get an insightful look at life below the water's edge or learn the story of rum at a captivating EXC Talk. Foodies can discover how to get the perfect balance of smoke and spice for authentic jerk chicken at a Port to Table cooking demonstration featuring local fare or participate in an exclusive culinary-themed shore excursion in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine showcasing the region's food scene from a local perspective.

Cunard's Captain Christopher Wells Retires after 20 years
Cunard Captain, Christopher Wells, is retiring after a stellar 20 year career with Cunard, part of 30 years spent working across Carnival Corporation cruise lines. In recognition of his outstanding service he has been awarded the rank of Commodore.

Commodore Wells has spent the last 13 years leading the team on board Cunard's flagship, Queen Mary 2, having originally been a key part of the commissioning of the ship which launched in 2004.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said: "Commodore Wells has been a wonderful ambassador for Cunard, proudly upholding the finest traditions and highest standards of the world's most famous shipping line. It is only fitting, and I am delighted, that he be awarded the rank of Commodore, the highest rank afforded to any seafarer.

"He'll be sorely missed by colleagues and guests alike, evidenced by the vast numbers of cards that have been received wishing him all the very best and noting his much-loved sense of humour as well as the respect he commanded. We thank him for the enormous contribution he has made to Cunard, in a highlight packed career, and wish him an equally successful retirement."

Bournemouth-born Commodore Wells began his career at sea on board tankers and bulk carriers in South East Asia before transitioning to cruise shipping in 1992, first with Cunard then Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia before returning to Cunard.

During his three decades on cruise ships, Commodore Wells has had the pleasure of meeting Her Majesty the Queen at the naming event for Queen Mary 2 and once again as Master at the naming of Queen Elizabeth. Another highlight was in 2017 when Commodore Wells climbed the tallest sail of the Sydney Opera House to mark the 10-year anniversary of Queen Mary 2's very first visit to the Australian city.

Commodore Wells combined his seafaring career with a 25-year commission in the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) and remains an Honorary Captain in the RNR.

Wanderlust & Work: Super-Charged MedallionNet Redefining Remote Working on Princess Ships
In a world where working remotely has become commonplace out of necessity, Princess Cruises is delivering super-charged internet connectivity by leveraging a new constellation of satellites to offer the ultimate remote workstation – an office at sea.

Upon its return to service, every Princess cruise ship in the global fleet will feature land-like connectivity as part of its MedallionNet Wi-Fi service, making remote working, distance learning, and the opportunity to securely conduct important transactions, available all while enjoying the most picturesque video conference backdrop on the horizon thousands of miles from home.

Each Princess MedallionClass ship transmits enough bandwidth per vessel to guarantee a superior connection for each guest and the personal device they are using. MedallionNet’s seamless integration ensures guests can work from their deck chairs as efficiently and effectively as in their office, with access to their cloud-based enterprise applications such as storage, videoconferencing, and email. And because there is an access point in every stateroom, as well as all public areas, guests can move freely around the ship as they work without any frustrating signal drops.

As more than 40% of the American workforce continues to work remotely, and with an expected 36.2 million Americans are projected to telecommute by 20251, an at sea office has never been more feasible and certainly remains very desirable to many.

“As an Internet person who lives her entire life online, I was thoroughly impressed with MedallionNet,” said Chelsea Lankford, creator of fashion and lifestyle blog Truelane. “I’m always impressed by its reliability. I’ve published blog posts, uploaded videos, and streamed Netflix in the middle of the ocean without a glitch.”

In late 2021, Princess connectivity partner – SES – will begin to launch a new constellation of satellites2, O3b mPOWER, that will further super-charge MedallionNet and offer guests the best connectivity possible at sea.

The unmatched bandwidth capacity not only delivers superior Wi-Fi service levels, but also powers the Princess MedallionClass experience onboard. The cruise line’s award-winning OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry, replaces the traditional cruise card to significantly expand touch-free options and personalization on board.

Working professionals will appreciate features and amenities such as: Keyless stateroom entry

• On-demand food, beverage, and retail items delivered anywhere onboard while you continue work or lead a video conference call

• Friends and family locator or chat function to find your travel partner when work is complete

When cruise vacations begin again, Princess will be ready to take guests to the sun-drenched beaches of the Caribbean or Mexico, the awe-inspiring scenery of Alaska, the iconic sites of Europe, the unparalleled California Coast, and many more destinations.

Celebrity Cruises Extends Suspension of Certain Sailings
Celebrity Cruises announced today that it is extending the suspension of some sailings, including all sailings from the United States until June 30, while continuing its measured return to service with more sailings scheduled from different regions around the world.

“Safety is the first priority, and we know that cruising can be safe, as we have seen in Europe and Asia,” said Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO. “The rising number of Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, layered on top of the rigorous health and safety measures we are implementing under the Healthy Sail Panel’s guidance, enables us to create a safe environment to take a cruise. We strongly believe that President Biden’s stated goal for society to reopen in time for Independence Day is a realistic goal.”

While we continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States and government authorities around the world, we have made the following adjustments to upcoming 2021 itineraries:

Celebrity Cruises

• Suspending sailings through June 30

• Excluding all ships which have recently announced many new homeports around the globe

Celebrity’s thoughtful return to sailing continues with announcements in the past 30 days of three more ships that will be welcoming guests beginning in June with sciencebacked protocols, including vaccines.

Celebrity Cruises

• Celebrity Millennium will sail from new homeport St. Maarten with stops in the Caribbean beginning June 5.

• Celebrity Apex will make its debut from Athens with stops around the Mediterranean beginning June 19.

• Celebrity Silhouette will sail from Southampton, England, on 6- to 8- night cruises around Britain’s coastline beginning July 3.

These ships join Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas, which has been sailing safely in Singapore since December 2020, and Odyssey of the Seas, which, as previously announced, will begin sailing from Haifa, Israel, beginning on June 2. Royal Caribbean Group continues to work with our Healthy Sail Panel of globally recognized scientific and medical experts to come back stronger, and we look forward to welcoming all of our guests back on board.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 27.75 - 1.28%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.06 - 2.43%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.57 - 5.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 29.26 - 1.51%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which popular French liner of the 1950's started her career crossing the Atlantic for North German Lloyd Line?

Answer - The fabled LIBERTE of the French Line first saw service as the EUROPA, sistership to the equally fabled BREMEN of 1929.
courtesy of Jeff Fostik


Cruise News - April 5, 2021

Seabourn Receives Approval From Greece To Relaunch Luxury Cruises From July 2021
Seabourn, the ultra-luxury cruise line, together with the Government of Greece is developing plans to restart Seabourn operations in the Mediterranean with a series of sailings operating round-trip out of Athens beginning July 3, 2021.

Seabourn Ovation will operate a series of 7-day cruises exploring beautiful and historic ports throughout the Greek Isles. The voyages are scheduled to open for booking on April 12. Guests will also be able to book longer 14-day voyages, which combine individual 7-day voyages with a variety of different ports on each. Seabourn will take guests to the ports of Agios Nikolaos, Rhodes, Mykonos and Nafplion as well as Limassol, Cyprus on one itinerary. On the other, guests will have the opportunity to experience Patmos, Rhodes, Thira and Spetsai along with a call at Paphos, Cyprus.

Each sailing also includes a sea day for time spent onboard enjoying venues like Earth & Ocean for al fresco dining, cooling off with artisanal gelato made fresh by the culinary team, or a host of activities available aboard Seabourn Ovation. Those who prefer quiet relaxation can find a comfortable chair in Seabourn Square to read or even take time to sit and watch the scenery go by from their private furnished veranda in their suite.

"The entire Seabourn family is truly excited to provide our award-winning travel experience aboard Seabourn Ovation starting again this July in the Greek Isles," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We're grateful to the people of Greece for welcoming Seabourn back to the Mediterranean this summer."

"Seabourn has been visiting Greece for more than 30 years and we look forward to welcoming their ships back to our unique destinations this summer," said Honorable Minister Harry Theoharis, Ministry of Tourism – Hellenic Republic. "Tourism is a vital part of our economy and our plans place a priority on health and safety to help restore traveler confidence to all. We are sure that once again all your guests will have the best experiences in Greece creating memories to last a lifetime."

The cruises are open to any guests that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. "Fully vaccinated" means a minimum of 14 days following the final dose of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines being administered. Proof of vaccination and the dates given will be required. Approved forms of documentation will be confirmed closer to time of departure and must be shown at the terminal prior to boarding.

Seabourn passengers will be required to comply with all health protocols that may be in place at the time of their departure. Travelers should check on travel requirements regularly, for both inbound travel and their return home, since policies continue to change based on the latest advice.

Additional initial preventive health measures under Seabourn's "Travel Safe" program will also be in place including health screening questionnaires, face mask requirements, physical distancing and capacity controls for indoor venues, as well as enhanced environmental sanitation and HVAC upgrades.

Seabourn Ovation will continue to follow stringent health and safety protocols. The brand's protocols are subject to change as work continues in collaboration with medical experts and government bodies to ensure the practices evolve in line with the latest advice. Seabourn's priority is to protect the health and safety of our guests, team members, and the people in the communities the brand visits. More details on the protocols are available on the Seabourn website.

Seabourn is finalizing additional details for these voyages, including more information on the shoreside experiences, and will share them in the coming weeks. They will also be posted on the Seabourn website. Guests are encouraged to book early for best suite selection and the brand will offer flexible cancellation terms as well. Guests with existing 2021 Greek Isles bookings will be notified with specific details for their updated itinerary under the same booking number. Airfare is available for purchase at competitive rates using Seabourn's FlightEase program, which includes complimentary transfers from the airport to the ship. Travelers can also book a private charter flight through Seabourn Private Air, which provides the ultimate in privacy and convenience.

Viking Continues Restart Of Limited Operations With New Bermuda, Iceland And UK Voyages
Viking announced today that it will continue restarting limited operations with a collection of sailings around Bermuda and Iceland beginning in June 2021. As a result of strong demand among past Viking guests in the United Kingdom, Viking has also added two additional sailings of the England's Scenic Shores itinerary in June 2021. All of Viking's new Welcome Back voyages will be available exclusively for vaccinated guests, in accordance with local entry rules in many of the destinations that will welcome Viking ships—and as a complement to Viking's new health and safety protocol enhancements, which were designed to protect guests and crew even while the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is still moving forward. Reservations for the new Bermuda, Iceland and UK voyages are now open.

For the new Bermuda Escape itinerary, Viking Orion will homeport in Hamilton for 8-day roundtrip itineraries; with the new Iceland's Natural Beauty itinerary, Viking Sky will homeport in Reykjavik for 8-day roundtrip itineraries. For both itineraries, the small size of Viking's ocean ships will allow convenient access to both small and large ports in Bermuda and Iceland—and both itineraries will be available for a limited time this summer.

Viking has been working closely with officials in the UK, Bermuda and Iceland for months; these destinations were chosen specifically because of their popularity among Viking guests, as well as their commitment to welcoming Viking ships, offering enriching experiences and reviving the travel industry in their respective countries. The company is actively working on developing Welcome Back sailings in a variety of other popular destinations, including Greece, Turkey and Malta—with the goal of announcing further 2021 sailings as soon as government approvals are given.

"We applaud the governments of the United Kingdom, Bermuda and Iceland for their collaboration and support in restarting the cruise industry safely," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "No other travel company has implemented the same science-led approach that includes a vaccination requirement for all guests, plus frequent non-invasive saliva PCR testing among all guests and crew. Therefore, we believe there will be no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage. We look forward to welcoming guests back on board—and welcoming them back to the world." Today's news follows Viking's recent announcement that it would initially restart operations with domestic sailings in England for UK residents on board Viking Venus beginning in May 2021. These initial sailings sold out within a week.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Return to Cruising with First Voyages in Europe and the Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced its highly anticipated return to service, with new itineraries sailing Europe and The Caribbean beginning July 25, 2021.

The Cruise Line will restart operations at a reduced capacity with Norwegian Jade, Joy and Gem as the first of its 17-ship fleet to welcome guests back on board. Travelers long-awaiting a return to cruise will have the opportunity to spend the summer exploring ancient ruins and sunny beaches with all new seven-day cruises to the Greek Isles on Norwegian Jade from Athens (Piraeus) beginning July 25, 2021. They can also island hop with week-long Caribbean itineraries available from Montego Bay, Jamaica as of Aug. 7, 2021 on Norwegian Joy or from Punta Cana (La Romana), Dominican Republic on Norwegian Gem beginning Aug. 15, 2021.

"Over a year after we initially suspended sailings, the time has finally come when we can provide our loyal guests with the news of our great cruise comeback," said Norwegian Cruise Line's President and Chief Executive Officer Harry Sommer. "We have been working diligently towards our resumption of operations, focusing on the guest experience with health and safety at the forefront. The growing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine has been a game changer. The vaccine, combined with our science-backed health and safety protocols, will help us provide our guests with what we believe will be the healthiest and safest vacation at sea."

Sommer continued, "All guests sailing aboard cruises with embarkation dates through Oct. 31, 2021 will be required to be fully vaccinated and tested prior to boarding our ships. Given the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic, the accelerating rollout of the vaccine, and the speed of scientific learnings, it is premature to make decisions about our health and safety protocols for cruises with embarkation dates beginning Nov. 1, 2021. We will continue to evaluate our health and safety protocols and rely on science and our expert council as we make decisions and evolve our policies and procedures."

While the Cruise Line already had robust health and safety protocols in place, it has spent the past year further developing and refining those protocols, using the latest scientific findings and expert advice. Yesterday, its parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings launched its SailSAFE Health and Safety program, which is founded on three pillars: 1) Safety for guests and crew with vaccination requirements, universal COVID-19 testing and enhanced health screening protocols; 2) Safety aboard with medical-grade air filtration, increased sanitation measures and enhanced medical resources; and 3) Safety ashore through the collaboration with land-based tour operator partners to extend health and safety measures to each destination. As protocols evolve and additional information becomes available, updates will be published at www.ncl.com/sail-safe.

Royal Caribbean Extends Singapore Season
Royal Caribbean International today announced Quantum of the Seas will continue sailing from Singapore through October 2021. Having resumed sailing in December 2020, Quantum's 11-month Singapore season will mark the longest yet for one of Asia's largest and most revolutionary cruise ships. The cruise line introduced Ocean Getaways from Singapore last year with the local government's CruiseSafe Certification, which confirms the sailings meet the comprehensive health and safety requirements developed with the Singapore government. Following a successful run and high marks from guests, Royal Caribbean first extended the season for three months, through June 2021, and is doing it again for an additional four months thanks to the partnership with the Singapore government.

"We have continued to see an overwhelming demand in Singapore to sail on board Quantum of the Seas. With more than 50,000 guests having cruised with us and zero positive COVID-19 cases to date, holidaymakers can rest assured we are focused on delivering safe, memorable cruise holidays," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Royal Caribbean's 30-plus sailings in Singapore offer a real-life, validated model of how cruising can be a unique, safe vacation beyond what many other travel options can offer. I'm confident we'll continue to see how successful cruising can be through a combination of our proven, healthy and safe practices, which are informed by the Healthy Sail Panel's 74 recommendations, and the rollout of vaccines around the world."

Singapore residents can continue to satisfy their feelings of wanderlust on 2-, 3- and 4-night Ocean Getaways and enjoy fun-filled activities, next-generation entertainment and world-class dining on board one of Royal Caribbean's most groundbreaking ships. These new sailings will be available to Singapore residents and open to book on April 13, 2021.

"Our guests have continued to have a fabulous vacation experience with Royal Caribbean, as we continue sailing with our layered health and safety measures developed with the Healthy Sail Panel. In fact, we have seen guest satisfaction ratings jump since we started sailing this past December," said Angie Stephen, vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean International.

Quantum will continue to operate with the same set of comprehensive health and safety measures in place, such as COVID-19 testing, reduced sailing capacity, physical distancing measures, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing processes, and industry-leading contact tracing.

"When we started pilot cruises in Singapore, our aim was to regain the confidence of guests by endorsing cruise operators with rigorous hygiene measures. Singapore's CruiseSafe standards have set a clear benchmark for our cruise partners, who have been diligent in ensuring the measures on board are adhered to. Thus far, we have completed more than 90 sailings with over 120,000 passengers and no reported cases of COVID-19 spreading on board," said Annie Chang, Director, Cruise, Singapore Tourism Board.

Disney Cruise Line Reaches Key Construction Milestone
Today, Disney Cruise Line reached a significant construction milestone marked by the traditional keel laying ceremony of the Disney Wish, the first of three new ships in the line's fleet expansion. Also announced today, the magic of Captain Minnie Mouse will come to life for the first time through whimsical artwork on the bow of the Disney Wish, a hallmark of Disney Cruise Line vessels.

"As we look to the future with anticipation and excitement for continuing our legacy of creating magical vacations for families across the globe, we are thrilled to reach this significant milestone in the ship building process and to unveil Captain Minnie as the beloved character on the bow of the Disney Wish," said Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Cruise Line.

Keel laying takes place when the first block, or section of a ship, is lowered into the building dock, and a newly minted coin is placed under the keel for good fortune. The coin created for the Disney Wish features Captain Minnie, who made her debut aboard Disney Cruise Line ships in 2019 as part of a collection of initiatives aiming to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the cruise industry.

"In maritime tradition, keel laying is the ceremonial beginning of the ship's life," said Philip Gennotte, portfolio project management executive, Walt Disney Imagineering Germany, who placed the coin at the ceremony. "Today marked a momentous occasion for the Disney Wish, and I could not be more proud of our Imagineers, the cast and crew at Disney Cruise Line and the team at Meyer Werft, the shipyard in Germany, who are bringing this enchanting ship to life."

As previously announced, the Disney Wish is scheduled to sail its maiden voyage in summer 2022. Information on itineraries and bookings for the ship will be released at a later date.

The Disney Wish will showcase the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and unparalleled service that only Disney can deliver. The ship will be powered by liquified natural gas, or LNG, one of the cleanest-burning fuels available. At approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, the ship will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Carnival Cruise Line Notifies Guests Of Cruise Cancellations
Carnival Cruise Line is notifying guests of additional cruise cancellations and the extension of its pause in all operations from U.S. ports through June 30, 2021.

Booked guests and travel advisors are being notified directly of the cancellations and the options for a future cruise credit plus onboard credit package, or a full refund. To provide flexibility for guests booked on July itineraries that remain in the schedule, Carnival is extending final payment deadlines for all July sailings to May 31, 2021, with the ability to cancel without penalty.

"We know that this is very disappointing to our guests who continue to be eager to sail, and we remain committed to working with the Administration and the CDC to find a workable solution that best serves the interest of public health. We are asking that the cruise industry be treated on par with the approach being taken with other travel and tourism sectors, as well as U.S. society at large," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "While we have not made plans to move Carnival Cruise Line ships outside of our U.S. homeports, we may have no choice but to do so in order to resume our operations which have been on 'pause' for over a year. We appreciate the continued patience and support from our loyal guests, travel advisors and business partners as we work on a return-to-service solution."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 28.11 + 9.68%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 89.15 + 7.58%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.60 - 1.64%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 29.71 + 13.35%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which popular French liner of the 1950's started her career crossing the Atlantic for North German Lloyd Line?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship was almost destroyed by fire in 1990, ran aground in 1994, and at one time was popular on the 3 and 4 day Bahamas and Mexico run?

Answer - The ship is ex Viking song, ex Sally Albtross, and ex Leeward of NCL, now sailing for Louis Cruise Lines as m/s Cristal .
courtesy of Jeff Lowery


Cruise News - March 29, 2021

Royal Caribbean Welcomes Brand-New Ship
Setting course for a lifetime of adventure, Royal Caribbean International's Odyssey of the Seas completed the final chapter in its construction odyssey today. The highly anticipated marvel officially became the 25th ship in the cruise line's award-winning fleet, following a virtual rendition of the time-honored maritime tradition known as a delivery ceremony. Odyssey will now set the stage for a bold, new way to vacation when it debuts from first-time homeport Haifa, Israel in May 2021 and Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley, and Master of Odyssey of the Seas Captain Per Kristoffersen received the new ship from Meyer Werft Yard's Managing Partner Bernard Meyer and Managing Director Jan Meyer in the customary handover ceremony with a virtual twist.

"Receiving Odyssey of the Seas into the Royal Caribbean family is a welcomed breath of fresh air. The ingenuity, passion and hard work our dedicated crew, teams on land and partners at Meyer Werft put into building a new ship always deliver, and to pull it off so well during a time unlike any other is incredible," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "We are looking forward to delivering the memorable vacations we're known for today on a ship that will mark several firsts for us, from making Israel a first-time homeport to introducing Quantum Ultra Class to North America. Every new ship is a blank slate to go bolder and be different, and Odyssey is bringing the very best of the new and guest-favorites across two continents for the years to come."

Later today, fans will have front-row seats to the ceremony celebration during an untraditional Facebook premiere event – a first in the cruise line's 52-year history. In store is a truly global lineup that includes the ship's blessing led by Seafarers' House at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, a show-stopping performance from signature venue Two70 on board Quantum of the Seas sailing in Singapore, and executives of Royal Caribbean in Florida and Meyer Werft Yard in Papenburg, Germany. The celebration exclusively takes place on Royal Caribbean International's Facebook page at 5 p.m. EDT.

Odyssey is the second Quantum Ultra Class ship, and just in time for summer, it will welcome Royal Caribbean's first guests to cruise from Israel on sailings where travelers above the age of 18 and crew members are fully vaccinated. Israeli residents can embark on 3- to 7-night getaways through October to visit sun-soaked destinations in the Mediterranean, including Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and Limassol, Cyprus. Following its inaugural summer season, Odyssey will embark on a transatlantic crossing for its North American debut this November, where it's slated to offer 6- and 8-night Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale to idyllic ports of call like Aruba, Curacao and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's game-changing private island destination in The Bahamas.

Weighing 169,000 gross tons and measuring 1,138 feet (347 meters) long and 135 feet (41 meters) wide, Odyssey will be the newest and largest ship to homeport in Israel and the first of its kind to call Florida its home later this year. Vacationers of all ages are in for a combination of 12 all-new and first-to-brand experiences as well as the signature adventures guests know and love, including:

• Caribbean-inspired pool deck – Sporting a whole new look across two decks, Odyssey's two open-air pools, four whirlpools and Splashaway Bay, anchored by a Quantum Ultra Class first – The Lime & Coconut bar – are designed for all travelers to enjoy the sun and stars in style.

• SeaPlex – The next-generation of a longtime Quantum Class favorite, this SeaPlex is the largest indoor and outdoor activity center at sea, and debuts this venue's first Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade.

• Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar and Teppanyaki – Two Royal Caribbean restaurants new to North America join the varied lineup of dining options on board. The fresh take on the cruise line's signature trattoria is the first to introduce its new wine bar concept while the other serves up East Asian flavors in the traditional Japanese style for which its named.

• Action-packed top deck – Returning guest-favorites include the gravity-defying SkyPad virtual reality bungee trampoline adventure, FlowRider surf simulator, skydiving with RipCord by iFly, and the iconic North Star all-glass observation capsule that boasts 360-degree views from 300 feet above sea level.

• One-of-a-kind entertainment – In typical Royal Caribbean fashion, Odyssey's full-scale productions take top billing in teched-out venues such as the Royal Theater and Two70, where immersive technology, unparalleled special effects and world-leading performers and aerialists take the stage alongside six agile Roboscreens for a multidimensional live show.

Celebrity Cruises Announces Its Return To Cruising
Celebrity Cruises announced its long-anticipated return to cruising today, as company President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo confirmed that the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, the ship at the forefront of the fleet’s $500 million modernization program and featuring the exclusive open-air hideaway The Retreat, will homeport in the tropical paradise of St. Maarten beginning June 5.

Beginning March 25, eager travelers can turn their vacation dreams into a dream vacation when booking opens for new seven-night itineraries departing through August to some of the best-loved Caribbean island destinations. The ship will sail with vaccinated crew and will be available to vaccinated adult guests and children under the age of 18 with a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of embarkation.

Guests can take advantage of special air and sea pricing offering exceptional savings on all Summer 2021 St. Maarten sailings starting at $1,999* per person for a veranda stateroom. The offer applies to new bookings and flights must be booked through Flights By Celebrity and prices include airfare and taxes. No promotional code is needed.

Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said, “Returning to the Caribbean after more than a year away is such a significant moment for us. It marks the measured beginning of the end of what has been a uniquely challenging time for everyone. We have been in constant contact with the leadership of St. Maarten these past months to support each other and share learnings and best practices. That we’re able to offer people the opportunity to safely vacation onboard the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, is incredible, and that we will sail from the magical island of St. Maarten is very special. I am forever grateful for the support and collaboration of the St. Maarten government.”

“Having a major cruise line such as Royal Caribbean Group’s Celebrity Cruises homeport here is a significant economic milestone for St. Maarten. It’s an historic agreement, the fruit of continuous dialogue and a testament to the strength of our longstanding relationship,” Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever declared. “Celebrity Cruises homeporting here will help rejuvenate our economy and drive opportunities for our people. I would like to thank the management team at the Royal Caribbean Group for their commitment to St. Maarten and their confidence in the Ministry of TEATT as a reliable and responsible partner. I look forward to the successful re-launch of their Caribbean cruising,” Minister de Weever concluded.

HAL's 2022 Canada & New England Cruises Stretch to the Stunning Landscapes of Greenland, Iceland and Newfoundland
Along the East Coast of North America, the sun-kissed skies of summer collide with the jewel-toned hues of autumn, and in 2022 Holland America Line's Zaandam and Nieuw Statendam will be there to showcase nature's most colorful spectacle. Bookings are now open for May through October 2022, enticing guests to discover why a cruise to Canada and New England is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.

Zaandam and Nieuw Statendam offer a series of six- through eight-day "Canada & New England Discovery" departures featuring New England's quintessential towns and Canada's undeniable Old-World French flair. Aboard Nieuw Statendam, guests also can set off on explorations up to 24 days that stretch to Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland, where the region's dramatic landscapes are the star of the journey.

New and Notable in 2022:

• In August 2022, Nieuw Statendam will debut as the first Pinnacle Class ship to sail to Canada, New England and beyond.

• A new 24-day cruise departing Aug. 3 on Nieuw Statendam sails roundtrip from Boston, Massachusetts, and circumnavigates Iceland, making six calls around the country, with additional visits to Greenland, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Ports include Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Saint-Pierre, St. John's, Red Bay, St. Anthony and Corner Brook, Newfoundland; Qaqortoq (Julianehåb) and Nanortalik (Ilivileq), Greenland; and Reykjavík (evening stay), Djúpivogur, Seydisfjörur, Akureyri, Isafjörour and Grundarfjörour, Iceland.

• Zaandam will cruise between Boston and Montréal, Québec, Canada, in both the summer and fall on a series of seven-day "Canada & New England Discovery" cruises with convenient weekend departures. Ports include Bar Harbor, and the Canadian destinations of Québec City, Québec; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Sydney and Halifax.

• Nieuw Statendam will sail six- through eight-day "Canada & New England Discovery" itineraries between Boston and Québec City, with weekend departures. Ports include Bar Harbor, Charlottetown, Sydney and Halifax. The eight-day cruise adds Saint John, New Brunswick.

• Nieuw Statendam offers longer "Newfoundland & New England Discovery" cruises that sail between Boston and Québec City. Ports on the 10-day cruise include Baie-Comeau and Havre-Saint-Pierre, Québec; and Corner Brook, St. Anthony, St. John's, Halifax and Bar Harbor. The 11-day departure calls at Portland, Maine; Saguenay, Québec; and Saint John, Halifax, Corner Brook (evening stay), Charlottetown and Baie-Comeau.

• Both ships will cruise the region in the fall so more guests can view the impressive display of the changing foliage. Itineraries feature scenic cruising through the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Saguenay Fjord.

• Holland America Line, with its perfect sized ships, is one of the only major cruise lines able to cruise the scenic St. Lawrence River, with calls at Montréal and Québec City on nearly every itinerary.

• Zaandam offers nine-day repositioning cruises along the Atlantic Coast between Montréal and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in May and October, while Nieuw Statendam leisurely cruises from Québec City to Fort Lauderdale in October on a 14-day voyage.

Explore Food, Wine and Culture on Culinary Tours
Exclusive shore excursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine showcase the tastes of the region. On Canada and New England cruises, guests can indulge in authentic poutine and maple syrup-infused treats or farm-to-fork cuisine in Quebec City; sail on a classic lobster boat, then dine at a Downeast Maine lobster bake in Bar Harbor; explore the best of Nova Scotia's culinary scene along Halifax's iconic waterfront boardwalk; and sample Prince Edward Island's freshly-shucked oysters, lobster sliders and homegrown mussels.

Cunard unveils Summer at Sea luxury UK voyages
Cunard is offering UK guests the opportunity to spend this summer at sea, with a series of UK voyages on board Queen Elizabeth. Voyages will be round-trip from Southampton, between July and October 2021, and comprise of British Isles scenic cruising and special Sun Voyages, sailing to wherever the sun shines brightest.

Ten British Isles Voyages and three Sun Voyages, lasting between three and twelve nights, are available. Guests will be able to experience the most luxurious summer at sea enjoying exquisite fine dining, the on-board spa and spectacular entertainment while having the opportunity to see the UK's coastline from a unique vantage point.

British Isles Voyages include scenic sailings along Britain's coastline including The Jurassic Coast, England's only natural UNESCO world heritage site, Cornwall including Land's End and Scotland including the Isle of Arran, Mull of Kintyre and Sound of Mull. Four voyages will make various port calls, including Liverpool, Greenock, Invergordon, Belfast, Newcastle as well as a maiden call for Cunard's fleet to the Welsh port of Holyhead.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said: "Cunard's Summer at Sea luxury UK voyages are a truly unique way for guests to have a much-needed break this summer. With international travel not yet fully opened up we're delighted to offer these voyages exclusively for British guests to experience a staycation unlike any other, as they relax in Cunard luxury knowing we will take care of everything.

"Guests can sail along some of the most stunning coastlines anywhere in the world, as Queen Elizabeth provides a unique vantage point, or sail on one of our Sun Voyages where the destination is unscripted and is guided by studying the weather forecast and heading to where the sun shines brightest."

Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination programme, and strongly expressed preference on the part of our guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Queen Elizabeth will be for UK resident Covid-19 vaccinated* guests only. All other voyages on sale currently do not require guests to be vaccinated.

All guests and crew will be required to follow enhanced health and wellbeing measures to protect everyone on board on these cruises. These have been developed with guidance from our global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies. These protocols include enhanced sanitation measures, appropriate social distancing and the wearing of masks in certain areas of the ship. Crew will also undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board. Our protocols are subject to change, as we will continue to work with our experts and with government bodies to ensure all of our practices evolve in line with latest advice, with our primary focus always being to protect the health and wellbeing of our crew and guests and the communities we visit. Travel insurance will also be mandatory for all guests.**

P&O Cruises Australia Extends its Pause Until End of July
P&O Cruises Australia is extending its pause in guest operations until the end of July this year as it remains positive about a pathway for the cruise industry's return to service.

The current rolling pause will affect cruises scheduled from 18 June to 30 July, 2021 (inclusive).

P&O Cruises is also cancelling voyages to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands for the remainder of the year given the uncertainty around borders. Unfortunately, this also affects this year's Cairns season where Pacific Explorer was to be based for two months from October.

Guests and travel agents will be contacted directly with solutions and alternative arrangements that will be tailored on a booking-by-booking basis.

"We are sorry that some of our guests will be unavoidably inconvenienced by these changes to the existing schedule at a time when we remain optimistic about returning to service as society keeps opening up," President of P&O Cruises Australia, Sture Myrmell, said.

"We are continuing our discussions with governments and health authorities to develop a framework for the staged resumption of cruising.

"As those discussions continue, today's changes are necessary as we take a practical approach to the current environment and continue to look forward to better days ahead."

Mr Myrmell said the cruise line was writing to guests affected by the extended pause and the other operational changes to apologise for the disruption to their holiday plans and to let them know of alternative arrangements.

Even amid the challenges of the past year, P&O Cruises has continued its fleet transformation so that it is ready to resume its leading role as Australia's home-grown cruise line.

"This includes preparing for Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure to join the P&O fleet this year to offer a very special cruising experience when we are again able to sail," Mr Myrmell said.

"As always, we thank our guests for their patience and understanding in relation to these changes, and especially for their continued loyalty to P&O Cruises. Our onboard teams can't wait to welcome guests to offer them the amazing cruise holiday experiences for which they are so renowned."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 25.63 - 6.73%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 82.87 - 6.78%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.61 - 7.58%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 26.21 - 8.52%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cruise ship was almost destroyed by fire in 1990, ran aground in 1994, and at one time was popular on the 3 and 4 day Bahamas and Mexico run?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first ocean liner (over 20,000 tons) to have her engines and funnel located far aft?

Answer - it was the SS Southern Cross from Shaw Savill and Albion. Slightly over 20.000 tons she was commissioned in 1955. Under various names the ship was in service for 48 years.
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselmann, Germany


Cruise News - March 22, 2021

Cruise Lines Ready to Sail Again in the United States
CLIA, which represents 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, today called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to lift the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) and allow for the planning of a phased resumption of cruise operations from U.S. ports by the beginning of July. The early-July timeframe is in line with President Biden's forecast for when the United States will be "closer to normal."

"Over the past eight months, a highly-controlled resumption of cruising has continued in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific—with nearly 400,000 passengers sailing to date in more than 10 major cruise markets. These voyages were successfully completed with industry-leading protocols that have effectively mitigated the spread of COVID-19. Additional sailings are planned in the Mediterranean and Caribbean later this spring and summer," said Kelly Craighead, CLIA's President and CEO.

According to the trade association, the very small fraction of reported COVID cases (fewer than 50 based on public reports) is dramatically lower than the rate on land or in any other transportation mode. "This is a testament to the industry's unparalleled expertise, gained over more than half a century, in coordinating movements of guests and crew, efficiently organizing complex embarkations and excursions, and designing vessels that are more technologically advanced and operationally agile than any other mode of transportation," said Craighead.

"The cruise industry has adopted a high bar for resumption around the world with a multi-layered set of policies that is intended to be revised as conditions change. Our Members continue to follow this multi-layered approach to enhancing health and safety that has proven effective, making cruising one of the best and most adaptable choices for travel," she added. Craighead also noted "the accelerated rollout of vaccines is a gamechanger in providing for the health and well-being of the public, especially in the United States, where President Biden expects all adults will be eligible for vaccinations by May 1, 2021."

Following the industry's voluntary suspension of operations one year ago, cruise lines have been prevented from operating in the U.S. by a series of "No Sail Orders" issued by the CDC. The CSO was issued last October, but since then the CDC has not released any further guidance, as called for in the CSO, to support the resumption of U.S. cruise operations. The lack of any action by the CDC has effectively banned all sailings in the largest cruise market in the world. Cruising is the only sector of the U.S. economy that remains prohibited, even as most others have opened or continued to operate throughout the pandemic.

"The outdated CSO, which was issued almost five months ago, does not reflect the industry's proven advancements and success operating in other parts of the world, nor the advent of vaccines, and unfairly treats cruises differently. Cruise lines should be treated the same as other travel, tourism, hospitality, and entertainment sectors," Craighead emphasized.

While some cruise lines have announced a few sailings catering to those who have received vaccinations, CLIA does not currently have a policy related to vaccines. The organization and its members are exploring a workable approach for how to consider vaccinations, once widely available, as part of robust protocols.

According to CLIA, restarting cruises as part of the broader travel industry will provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy—with the cruise industry supporting nearly 450,000 American jobs and contributing over $55.5 billion annually, prior to the pandemic. Based on economic modeling by research firm BREA, more than 300,000 jobs have been lost in the United States due to the suspension of cruises. The majority of those impacted are independent business owners or individuals employed by small- to medium-sized businesses—including travel agents, taxi drivers, port employees, baggage handlers, and longshoremen, as well as airline, hotel, and restaurant workers.

Royal Caribbean Marks 2021 Return To Caribbean With Cruises From The Bahamas
This summer, travelers can trade in virtual travel experiences for their long-awaited vacations and cruise in The Bahamas and Mexico with Royal Caribbean International. The global cruise line has announced a summer lineup of 7-night cruises on board Adventure of the Seas, setting sail this June from new homeport Nassau, The Bahamas. Vacationers now have the chance to island-hop and relish the adventures they have missed, including the first series of two back-to-back days on Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's game-changing private island destination in The Bahamas, and quality time exploring Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas and Cozumel, Mexico.

Royal Caribbean marks its 2021 return to the Caribbean with cruises from The Bahamas. Adventure of the Seas sets sail June 2021 on 7-night sailings from Nassau, The Bahamas, offering two back-to-back days on Perfect Day at CocoCay, the cruise line’s private island destination in The Bahamas; and visits to Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas and Cozumel, Mexico. The new itineraries will sail with fully vaccinated crew and adult guests as well as those under the age of 18 with negative test results. visits to Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas and Cozumel, Mexico. The new itineraries will sail with fully vaccinated crew and adult guests as well as those under the age of 18 with negative test results.v

Travelers looking ahead to their summer vacations can book their roundtrip cruise as soon as Wednesday, March 24 and set sail starting June 12. The new itineraries departing through August, which will sail with vaccinated crew, will be available to adult guests who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those under the age of 18 with negative test results.

"We are excited to get back to delivering memorable vacations in the Caribbean, gradually and safely. The vaccines are clearly a game changer for all of us, and with the number of vaccinations and their impact growing rapidly, we believe starting with cruises for vaccinated adult guests and crew is the right choice. As we move forward, we expect this requirement and other measures will inevitably evolve over time," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "The opportunity to homeport in The Bahamas is a testament to the tremendous partners the government and the people of the island nation have been to us for more than 50 years. We are grateful for the confidence that they have in us and our commitment to a healthy and happy return to sailing."

Itinerary Highlights

The sun-soaked shores of Perfect Day at CocoCay, Grand Bahama Island and Cozumel beckon.

• Royal Caribbean's limited summer series with Adventure offers guests the unique opportunity to spend two consecutive days on Perfect Day at CocoCay, where all staff will be fully vaccinated. With double the time to enjoy the island's ultimate combination of thrills and ways to chill, by day, travelers can hit the tallest waterslide in North America among Thrill Waterpark's 13 jaw-dropping waterslides; Up, Up & Away, the helium balloon that floats up to 450 feet in the air; and the first floating cabanas in The Bahamas at Coco Beach Club. And as the sun sets, they can unwind with a cocktail in hand on Chill Island's tranquil beaches or at the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, Oasis Lagoon.

• On the agenda at Grand Bahama Island and Cozumel are turquoise blue waters, island vibes, and the options to safely explore each destination's culture, history, cuisine and natural beauty on selected Royal Caribbean shore excursions.

"As we anticipate a promising return to a vibrant tourism industry, news that the cruise industry is going to begin homeporting in The Bahamas is exciting. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of passengers will experience Nassau or Grand Bahama in ways they never had the opportunity to before," said the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas. "I am especially pleased that Royal Caribbean, with whom we have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship for more than 50 years, selected The Bahamas as a homeport when sailing resumes. This is truly a new day for tourism. It should inspire many small- to medium-sized businesses, tour operators, taxi drivers, restaurants and retailers to prepare for brighter days ahead, the best we have ever had."

Experiences in Store on Adventure of the Seas

Adventure, primed for the memory-making Royal Caribbean is known for, offers guests a host of experiences for smooth sailing from one island to the next. From The Perfect Storm, dual-racer waterslides Cyclone and Typhoon, and the signature FlowRider surf simulator, to kids aqua park Splashaway Bay, thrills of all kinds are on deck.

Add to that the variety of entertainment and dining venues, such as Izumi, known for its menu of fresh sushi and sashimi; the cruise line's popular steakhouse, Chops Grille; and Latin-inspired lounge Boleros, there are adventures for all ages and every member of the family on board.

"Royal Caribbean has long been a valued partner to The Bahamas, and we are thrilled to work with them on making Nassau their newest homeport," said Minister of Tourism & Aviation, the Honorable Dionisio D'Aguilar. "Cruising is a vital part of The Bahamas' economy and having Royal Caribbean and their guests return to our shores will contribute greatly to restoring and reactivating tourism. We have been preparing diligently for the last many months to ensure an experience that is equally safe and enjoyable. We are confident that cruise goers will receive the warm, friendly hospitality The Bahamas is famous for. We cannot wait to remind guests that it is still Better in The Bahamas."

Vacationers can rest assured their well-being and that of the crew members and communities visited are Royal Caribbean's top priorities. Details on additional health and safety measures to be implemented by Royal Caribbean will be announced at a later date. The cruise line's comprehensive, multilayered health and safety measures to come leverage expert guidance from the Healthy Sail Panel, Royal Caribbean Group's Head of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer and local government and health authorities.

In addition, vacationers must meet the travel requirements of The Bahamas. This may include receiving a negative PCR test result before their arrival, testing upon arrival into the country and filling out appropriate entry forms. The most up-to-date policies can be found at The Bahamas website.

Royal Caribbean's new 7-night summer itineraries continue the cruise line's measured and safe return to cruising the world once again, following months of successful sailings with Quantum of the Seas in Singapore and the recent announcement of the highly anticipated Odyssey of the Seas to cruise from Haifa, Israel.

Azamara Announces Name of Its Fourth Ship
Azamara cruise line today announced the name and vessel handover of its new ship, Azamara Onward. The vessel handover, which took place on March 15, 2021, coincides with Azamara's transition into an independent brand and cruise company.

"Today marks a new beginning for Azamara, as we increase our capacity and begin our journey as an independent cruise company. Our beautiful new ship can access smaller ports and allow us to bring our guests to even more destinations," said President of Azamara, Carol Cabezas. "When selecting a unique name, we realized our fourth ship marks the start of a new adventure and we chose a name that celebrates the bright future ahead for the brand, our guests, and the industry as a whole."

The brand has elected the name Azamara Onward, which represents moving forward in space or time. The name is meant to evoke feelings of resilience, positivity, and the endless possibilities of the future. As a whole, the name reflects the brand's trajectory and journey to the next chapter.

"Azamara has a bright future and is positioned to continue growing as an independent company," added Orlando Ashford, Executive Chairman of Azamara. "We can't wait to welcome back our loyal customers, as well as those new to the brand, with our expanded fleet offering more unique Destination Immersion programming and itineraries."

Azamara Onward will join the brand's existing fleet: Azamara Pursuit, Azamara Journey, and Azamara Quest. The newly purchased vessel, currently docked in Civitavecchia, will receive an extensive renovation to reflect the Azamara brand. Azamara Onward is scheduled to sail for its inaugural season around Europe in 2022.

Costa Resumes Its Cruises Starting From May
Costa Cruises has revised its plans moving its restart to May. The decision has been taken in consideration of the restrictions still in place in Italy and other European countries to contain Covid-19. Such measures do not allow the Company to offer the best cruise vacations to its guests, especially for what concerns the experience ashore.

In line with the new plan, Costa Smeralda's departure in Italy is planned for May 1st, with an unchanged itinerary, sailing guests to beautiful Italian locations, with 3- and 4-day mini-cruises or alternatively a 7-day cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.

From June 12, Costa Smeralda will return to sailing one-week cruises in the western Mediterranean, with visits to Italy (Savona, Civitavecchia and Palermo), France (Marseille) and Spain (Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca).

The departure date of Costa Luminosa, the second Costa ship scheduled to resume service, is postponed to May 16 from Trieste, and the following day from Bari, confirming its program of one-week cruises in Greece and Croatia, in accordance with recent roadmap for the resumption of international tourism in Greece.

The restart of Costa cruises will continue to be supported by the implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol. The protocol contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore, which were implemented in the past months of cruise operations. Such measures include limited capacity, swab tests for all guests and crew, temperature checks when disembarking and re-embarking the ship, protected shore excursions, physical distancing on board and at the cruise terminals, new ways of using on-board services, enhanced sanitation and medical services, and use of protective face masks when necessary.

Furthermore, the company is also working with national and local authorities of the countries included in the itineraries of its ships outside Italy to define the details of the resumption of its cruise operations.

As previously announced, all other cruises scheduled until the end of May, and not included in the Costa Smeralda and Costa Luminosa programs updated today, are cancelled. Costa is in the process of informing travel agents and customers affected by changes.

Royal Caribbean Group completes the sale of Azamara
Royal Caribbean Group today announced it completed the sale of its Azamara brand to Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm specializing in consumer, retail and distribution investments, in an all-cash transaction for $201 million. The sale included Azamara's three-ship fleet and associated intellectual property.

This strategic deal allows the Group to focus on expanding its Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises brands.

"This creates huge opportunities for all parties," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. "In fact, as we are inking this deal today, Azamara already has added a fourth ship to their fleet. I am confident that the brand's success and growth trajectory will continue under the stewardship of Sycamore."

"We look forward to guiding and supporting Azamara in its next phase of growth," said Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. "The brand's high guest engagement, personalized service and unique Destination Immersion strategy, position it strongly for continued growth in the upmarket space."

Perella Weinberg Partners LP served as financial advisor to Royal Caribbean Group and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP provided legal counsel. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal advice to Sycamore Partners.

Paul Gauguin Cruises Unveils Renovated m/s Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the m/s Paul Gauguin, is pleased to announce a ship renovation, featuring luxurious enhancements, that took place during The Gauguin's drydock ending on March 9th in Singapore.

The vision of the renovation was to enhance The Gauguin's elegant Polynesian signature with a chic and fresh style to enrich guests' experience sailing the islands of Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji and the South Pacific.

Large Environmental Upgrades in line with Paul Gauguin Cruises' Values
Minimizing the impact on the environment is one of the highest priorities of the company. In 2019, Paul Gauguin Cruises took two major measures in this field. The line completely eliminated the use of heavy fuel oil by using a much cleaner fuel (LS MGO – Low-Sulphur Marine Gas Oil) and also committed to offsetting 150 percent of its carbon emissions. The Gauguin's most recent environmental upgrades follow this path and include water treatment and consumption optimization along with energy-saving initiatives.

An Empowering Experience Dedicated to Guests' Highest Expectations
The Gauguin is outfitted with a look designed by Studio Jean-Philippe Nuel that evokes South Seas elegance and the storied islands that the iconic ship sails. The refurbishment enhances the historical interior of the vessel made of warm and dark woodworks and strengthens the local identity. The fresh palette incorporates lagoon shades, a wide range of green and natural tones, warm color touches, organic patterns and woven textiles. Exotic panoramas and traditional artwork transports guests into the local environment. All The Gauguin's staterooms and suites, as well as the public spaces, were renovated: Le Grand Salon, three restaurants, Piano Bar, La Palette Lounge, Spa and Salon, Boutique, Pool Deck, and Reception area.

Ongoing Onboard Upgrades
To accompany The Gauguin's renovation, amenities were enhanced for a full guest experience. Guests will be able to enjoy complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi and a virtual museum of over 150 paintings of artist Paul Gauguin during their voyage. These new enhancements will provide guests of The Gauguin an even more luxurious, all-inclusive experience, which encompasses dining in all three of the ship's restaurants and 24-hour room service; complimentary beverages including select wines, beer, and spirits; and onboard gratuities for room stewards and dining staff.

The Gauguin's Polynesian Signature
Paul Gauguin Cruises was created to provide enjoyable, meaningful, and authentic experiences with the communities, cultures, and natural wonders that make Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific so alluring. Every detail of The Gauguin's renovations reflect her home including the ship's décor, artwork, special Polynesian dishes in the restaurants, enrichment programming, and cultural activities aboard led by Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins, the ship's troupe of Tahitian ambassadors and entertainers.

Itineraries following the renovations include: 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands; and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands voyages. Guests have exclusive access to the line's private island Motu Mahana, and a private beach in Bora Bora. Paul Gauguin Cruises offers a wide range of outdoor activities embracing the natural wonders of the South Pacific such as snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, and SCUBA diving excursions.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 27.48 - 7.75%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 88.90 - 5.98%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.66 + 29.41%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 28.65 - 9.31%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first ocean liner (over 20,000 tons) to have her engines and funnel located far aft?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Holland America's Rotterdam of 1959 had a unique central staircase that allowed first class and tourist class passengers to use the the stairs at the same time without ever meeting each other. How was this feat accomplished and what was the inspiration for this design feature?

Answer - The Rotterdam of 1959 had a staircase that comprised of two inter-spiralling staircases that allowed both first class and tourist class to travel vertically and permitted them to access their own grade of deck. This feature was copied from the Chateau de Chambord in France .
courtesy of Les Grant


Cruise News - March 15, 2021

Oceania Cruises Welcomes "Vista" To Its Fleet
Oceania Cruises introduced Vista to the world today, naming the first of two new 1,200-guest Allura Class ships that are being constructed by renowned Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A. The luxury vessel, the seventh for the line, will set sail in 2023, followed by a sister ship in 2025.

Named to reflect the dawn of a new age in travel, Vista will exemplify all the hallmarks of the Oceania Cruises experience that guests have come to expect. A marvel in the making, Vista will deliver The Finest Cuisine at Sea, exceptionally personalized service with two staff members for every three guests, a warm and welcoming ambiance as a result of the ship's captivating residential furnishings, and introduce several unique firsts for the brand in the realms of dining and guest experience.

"Oceania Cruises is an innovative and ever-evolving brand. We are always looking over the horizon, and Vista represents our view to the future," stated Bob Binder, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Consumers and travel advisors can expect to be wowed by the dramatic and glamorous public spaces such as The Grand Dining Room, which soars almost two decks in height and pays homage to the "beautiful age" of early 20th-century Parisian society through its contemporary interpretation of Belle Époque.

Vista's nine additional best-in-class culinary experiences, luxurious signature public spaces, and spacious, residentially inspired suites and staterooms will be revealed starting in May 2021, with her inaugural voyages opening for sale in September 2021.

Vista represents not just a view to the future for the Oceania Cruises brand, but also the unique vision of the company's thousands of officers and crew who played a pivotal role in the design of the ship and helped shepherd it from concept to design to reality.

"Our officers and crew are always bringing great new ideas to the forefront and then implementing them. More than any other part of the Oceania Cruises organization, we owe our success to our onboard teams. They are the ones who made Vista possible, and it is a credit to them, these true visionaries of the seven seas, that we name the ship for them, in their honor," added Binder.

Currently under construction by Fincantieri S.p.A. in Italy, Vista will sail her first commercial voyage in early 2023. Measuring approximately 67,000 gross registered tons, the ship will accommodate 1,200 guests and be staffed by 800 officers and crew, offering industry-leading space and staff-to-guest ratios. An unnamed sister ship will debut in 2025.

Viking Announces May 2021 Restart Of Limited Operations
Viking announced today that it will restart limited operations in May 2021 with three special sailings along the coast of England. Available exclusively for UK residents, the new eight-day ocean itinerary—England's Scenic Shores—will sail roundtrip from Portsmouth, with departures on May 22, May 29 and June 5, 2021. Guests on the England's Scenic Shores itinerary will be among the first to sail on board Viking's newest ocean ship, Viking Venus which will be delivered in April. Pre-registration for England's Scenic Shores is currently open only to Viking's loyal past guests; more details about the voyages will be released—and reservations will be available to all UK residents—in due course.

Viking was the first cruise line to suspend operations at the beginning of the pandemic, and today's update about the official restart was triggered because the UK Government recently signaled that it will allow the resumption of domestic cruises beginning in May 2021. All other previously scheduled Viking sailings through May 31, 2021 remain cancelled.

"We welcome the UK Government's support for the return of safe domestic cruises as an important component in the travel industry's recovery. In recognition of this support, and to celebrate the fact we have a British godmother—the esteemed broadcaster and journalist Anne Diamond—we have chosen to name our new ship, Viking Venus, in the UK on May 17," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We are in a position to restart operations quickly and to start sailing again in May because we have kept our ships crewed during warm lay-up throughout the past 12 months. We have been implementing our additional protocols, including daily quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests for our crew, for almost six months now. With our new protocol enhancements in place, we believe there will be no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage and we look forward to welcoming UK guests back on board very soon."

Those who sail these new voyages will also experience Viking's industry-leading health and safety program. Grounded in scientific research, the Viking Health & Safety Program was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking's Chief Health Officer. Dr. Bono is a board-certified trauma surgeon and retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps—and most recently led Washington State's medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing a full-scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship, all guests and crew will receive daily quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests. New air purification technology has also been installed on all Viking ships, which have always featured independent air handling units for all guest staterooms. And additional health checks, sanitization and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking guests and crew at all points of the journey.

P&O Cruises offers Ultimate Escape UK holidays this summer
P&O Cruises is offering a series of short breaks on flagship Britannia this summer and week-long cruises on new ship Iona. These cruises will depart from Southampton between June and September, sailing around the UK coast, "where the sun shines brightest."

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: "Given recent announcements we have every hope that our guests will be able to enjoy a holiday this summer. After the stresses and challenges of the past year everyone certainly deserves a treat and this series of cruises will provide memorable and much needed UK getaways. Whilst there is still uncertainty about holidays abroad this summer, we are delighted to be able to offer our guests the ultimate escape here in the UK with the reassurance that we will take care of everything. Also, we really will look at the weather forecast each cruise and aim to take our ships where it is warm and sunny.

"As the start of Iona's very special maiden season, the new Ultimate Escape series of holidays includes a memorable seven night maiden voyage sailing around the Scottish islands. Iona will anchor off Iona, the island after which she was named, with a celebratory extended stay until sunset for magical views of the historic shores."

Setting sail from Southampton guests will be able to enjoy the ultimate British break on Britannia and Iona – gourmet dining and poolside bites; cocktails and coffees; shopping, spas, shows and endless sea views.

Britannia will offer three and four night breaks and one six night holiday running from June 27, 2021 through to September 19, 2021. Iona offers seven night itineraries running from August 7, 2021 to September 18, 2021. Prices start from £449 per person for a three night break on Britannia. Iona's seven night maiden voyage starts from £1,199 per person.

Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination programme, and strong expressed preference on the part of our guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Britannia and Iona will be for UK resident Covid-19 vaccinated* guests only.

All guests and crew will be required to follow enhanced health and wellbeing measures to protect everyone on board on these cruises. These have been developed with guidance from our global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies. These protocols include enhanced sanitation measures, appropriate social distancing and the wearing of masks in certain areas of the ship. Crew will also undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board. Our protocols are subject to change, as we will continue to work with our experts and with government bodies to ensure all of our practices evolve in line with latest advice, with our primary focus always being to protect the health and wellbeing of our crew and guests and the communities we visit. Travel insurance will also be mandatory for all guests.**

Ludlow added: "As we have spent the majority of the last year at home, to be able to have a restorative and relaxing break, sit on deck with a sea view in the summer sunshine and then enjoy an indulgent dinner and show – it's certainly what we all need this year and we cannot wait to have our guests back on board."

Cruising to Return to The Bahamas on Crystal Cruises Beginning July 2021
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviatio, in partnership with Crystal Cruises, announced that the cruise line will restart service from The Bahamas this summer. The destination is excited to welcome Crystal Serenity back to its shores, and thrilled that voyages will provide Bahamas Escapes cruises from Nassau and Bimini, visiting islands including Harbour Island, Great Exuma, San Salvador and Long Island.

With her new Bahamas Escapes cruises, Crystal Serenity becomes the first ship to homeport in The Bahamas. "Crystal will also offer 16 seven-night voyages round-trip from Bimini beginning July 4, 2021."

For the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on The Bahamas' vital tourism sector, and the shutdown of the cruise industry has been felt greatly. The return of Crystal Serenity is exceptionally positive news that will benefit many tourism-dependent businesses on multiple islands, from straw market artisans, to shops and restaurants, excursion and tour operators, taxi drivers and more.

"The Bahamas is ready and delighted to welcome cruise visitors back to the islands and to partner with Crystal Cruises in the effort to restore and help re-activate our tourism industry and protect jobs and businesses," said Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation Dionisio D'Aguilar. "Crystal Cruises will go on record as the only cruise line offering Bahamas-only voyages that highlight the signature features and experiences travelers can find here in our islands, and the support that these cruises will bring to multiple communities within the country will be tremendous. Guests will find ample room to roam and a warm welcome from the people of this unique destination."

All guests will experience the highest standards of health and safety practices throughout every aspect of their vacation, thanks to the combination of Crystal Cruises' extensive Crystal Clean+ 4.0 protocols and the Bahamas Clean & Pristine Certification program. There is great confidence in the ability to offer travelers a safe and warm welcome to The Islands of The Bahamas.

Princess Extends Pause of Cruise Vacations From Seattle through June 27, 2021
While Princess Cruises continues to work with various United States and Canadian government officials to try to preserve a portion of the Alaska 2021 cruise season, the company is extending its pause of cruise vacations for sailings from Seattle through June 27, 2021.

The pause in operation affects seven-day Alaska Inside Passage cruises on Emerald Princess and Majestic Princess.

For guests booked on a cancelled voyage, Princess will offer to move guests to the equivalent cruise in 2022. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests' 2021 fare on their 2022 voyage.

Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD) or a full refund to the original form of payment.

Requests must be received through this online form by April 15, 2021 or guests will automatically receive the FCC option. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022.

Holland America Pauses All Alaska Cruises Sailing Roundtrip from Seattle Scheduled to Depart in June 2021
Holland America Line has announced it is extending its pause of cruise operations to now include all June 2021 roundtrip sailings to Alaska from Seattle, Washington. This includes six cruises on Eurodam and Oosterdam with a call at Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

At this time, Alaska cruises sailing roundtrip from Seattle departing in July and onward have not been canceled. Following the earlier Canadian Transport Ministry Interim Order that closed Canadian ports to passenger vessels, discussions continue with Canadian and United States government authorities to try to preserve remaining Seattle Alaska sailings. Holland America Line previously announced the cancellation of all 2021 Alaska cruises to or from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

"We continue to stay actively engaged in dialogue with authorities in Canada and the United States to understand what cruise opportunities may still exist in Alaska, knowing how important this market is not only to our brand, but to the communities and individuals who depend on our business," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "We share with our guests the disappointment of canceling these voyages, and we remain hopeful that we can operate some of the Alaska cruise season."

Guests currently booked on the canceled roundtrip Seattle-Alaska June departures will automatically be moved to an equivalent cruise in 2022 at the 2021 fare – with all cash and Future Cruise Credit funds moved to the new booking.

Once a new booking confirmation is received, if guests decide not to accept the 2022 cruise booking, they will have the option to decline the booking and receive an FCC of 110% of any cash paid. Guests will also be able to request a full refund of all monies paid to Holland America Line.

The minimum FCC is $25 and will be valid for sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022, and will be moved to the guest loyalty account. Non–cruise fare purchases (shore excursions, airfare, gifts, dining and spa) will be transferred to a new booking or automatically refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the goods or services.

Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 29.79 + 11.61%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 94.55 + 7.55%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.51 + 7.37%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 31.59 + 7.78%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Holland America's Rotterdam of 1959 had a unique central staircase that allowed first class and tourist class passengers to use the the stairs at the same time without ever meeting each other. How was this feat accomplished and what was the inspiration for this design feature?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship starred along side Richard Harris, Anthony Hopkins and Omar Sharif as the fictional Britannic in the 1974 movie Juggernaut?

Answer - The ship used as the set for the movie "Juggernaut" was Hamburg Atlanic Line's Hamburg. She had been renamed Hanseatic a year earlier, and just prior to "starring" in the film, she had been sold to the Soviet Union's Black Sea Shipping Company. Following the filming, she was refitted and renamed Maxim Gorkij.
courtesy of Harold Einhorn, Rhineback, NY


Cruise News - March 8, 2021

AIDA Cruises extends its Canary Island cruise season until middle of May 2021
AIDA Cruises today announced it is extending its cruise season around the Canary Islands with AIDAperla until the middle of May 2021. The start and destination port of the seven-day voyages is Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain.

AIDA Cruises has implemented a comprehensive set of enhanced health and safety protocols for guests and crew members utilized on several AIDA cruises in fall 2020. In recent months, the islands of "eternal spring" have been a holiday destination in Europe with consistently low incidence rates. As a result of the Spanish government's regulations for safe travel, which coincide with AIDA's enhanced health and safety protocols, the cruise line's guests have been able to enjoy relaxing holidays in the Canary Islands.

The enhanced health and safety protocols -- tested by SGS Institut Fresenius and confirmed by the classification society DNV GL -- includes a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for detecting viruses and bacteria before traveling, as well as regular health checks, extensive distance and hygiene rules, medical care including test capacities on board and other measures.

Cruise vacations in other AIDA destinations are currently not possible. However, with the extension of its cruise season around the Canary Islands with AIDAperla, AIDA Cruises will be able to offer all guests an attractive holiday option. This applies to guests who originally booked a cruise in the Mediterranean on AIDAstella with departure dates from March 20 up to and including May 11, 2021; on AIDAperla with departure dates up to and including May 14, 2021; on AIDAblu between April 04 up to and including April 25, 2021; and on AIDAmar between March 21 up to and including April 18, 2021.

The same applies to all guests who were originally scheduled to depart with AIDAsol from Hamburg and Rotterdam to Northern Europe and Norway between March 20 and April 3, 2021, or with AIDAluna from Hamburg on March 31 and April 04, 2021.

The positioning cruises with AIDAmira scheduled to depart on April 16, 2021, and with AIDAvita on April 20, 2021, have to be canceled as well.

All guests whose voyage cannot take place as originally scheduled will be informed immediately. AIDA Cruises appreciates all guests affected for their understanding.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Cruise Vacations from Los Angeles, Ft. Lauderdale and Rome
While Princess Cruises continues to work with government and port authorities to finalize its plans for return to cruising, the company is extending its pause of cruise vacations sailing the Caribbean, California Coast, Mexico and Mediterranean through June 30, 2021.

The pause in operation affects the following voyages:

• Caribbean Princess: Seven-day Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises

• Enchanted Princess: Seven-day Mediterranean & Adriatic, seven-day Western Mediterranean, and 14-day Western Mediterranean & Adriatic Medley

• Ruby Princess: Seven-day Classic California Coast, seven-day Mexican Riviera, and five-day Cabo San Lucas Getaway sailings

For guests booked on a cancelled voyage, Princess will offer to move guests to the equivalent cruise in 2022. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests' 2021 fare on their 2022 voyage. Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD) or a full refund to the original form of payment.

For guests currently booked on a cancelled voyage where there is no matched cruise available in 2022, guests will automatically receive a refundable future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25). Alternatively, guests can request a full refund to the original form of payment.

Requests must be received through this online form by April 15, 2021 or guests will automatically receive the FCC option. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022.

Princess will transfer the commission earned by travel agents from the cancelled 2021 cruise to the new booking in 2022 for bookings that were paid in full. This convenience is in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

Holland America Line Extends Cruise Pause to Include Europe Departures Through June 2021
While Holland America Line continues to work with government and port authorities to develop its plans to return to cruising, the company is extending its pause of European cruise operations to include departures through June 30, 2021.

The pause will impact cruises departing in May and June on Nieuw Statendam, Volendam and Westerdam, along with the Collectors' Voyages associated with those canceled cruises. Collectors' Voyages combine nonrepeating itineraries for an extended, back-to-back cruise experience.

Cruises affected by this pause in operation are:

• Nieuw Statendam: Eight departures from May 2 through June 27, 2021, that include seven- and 14-day Norway and Baltic itineraries, as well as the 14- and 21-day Collectors' Voyages of those cruises.

• Volendam: June 19, 2021, 14-day Adriatic Dream cruise and the 24-day Adriatic Dream and Greek Odyssey Collectors' Voyage departing the same date.

• Westerdam: June 19, 2021, 12-day Greece and Adriatic Antiquities cruise and the 24-day Adriatic Antiquities and Mediterranean Romance Collectors' Voyage departing the same date.

All Guests Able to Rebook in 2022 on a Comparable Cruise

Holland America Line is notifying all guests and their travel advisors of their options. Guests currently booked on the canceled Europe departures will be able to rebook on an equivalent cruise in 2022 at the 2021 fare – with all cash and Future Cruise Credit funds moved to the new booking. Guests will be offered a comparable cruise in 2022 to replace the canceled voyage and instructions on how to confirm this selection online.

If guests decide not to accept a cruise booking in 2022 by April 15, 2021, they automatically default to receive a Future Cruise Credit of 110% of any cash paid on the booking. The minimum FCC is $25 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid. Guests will retain any other FCC used for the canceled 2021 booking with all FCC amounts moved to their loyalty account for use on a future cruise booking. For all bookings in 2022, standard cancellation policies apply.

Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences Form to indicate their preference no later than April 15, 2021.

The FCC is valid for sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. Noncruise fare purchases — shore excursions, airfare, gifts, dining and spa — will be transferred to a new booking if possible or automatically refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

The above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line.

Seabourn Announces Cancellation Of Select 2021 Europe Voyages
Seabourn is maintaining its optimism for the ultimate restart of travel while, in the meantime, continuing to take a practical approach in extending its current operational pause. As a result of the current environment, the brand is cancelling a series of select 2021 Europe departures.

The cancellation announcement applies differently by ship. Voyages affected include:

• Seabourn Sojourn, with its next scheduled departure now set for July 3, 2021.

• Seabourn Encore, with its next scheduled departure now set for July 3, 2021.

• Seabourn Ovation, with its next scheduled departure now set for July 3, 2021.

• Seabourn Quest, with its next scheduled departure now set for November 7, 2021.

Guests with bookings affected by this announcement are being given as much notice as possible to provide them with greater clarity around their travel plans.

"Our highest priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the people in destinations we visit," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We understand guests are eager to travel and, even though we have extended our pause in operations a bit further, we continue to prepare to welcome them back once again."

Guests with impacted cruise bookings have until April 15, 2021 to request to be re-booked to a comparable 2022 voyage at their 2021 rate paid plus current amenities. Guests who prefer an alternative choice can also request a bonus future cruise credit offer or a full refund of monies paid to Seabourn to the original form of payment.

Guests and their travel advisors will be sent specific details applicable to their booking. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available on its website first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.

Royal Caribbean Extends Cruise Pause
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) continues to focus on the healthy and safe return to cruising for guests, crew and the communities we visit. As we work closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government authorities around the world toward this shared goal, we are extending the suspension of certain sailings for our cruise lines.

The following schedule reflects adjustments to our upcoming 2021 itineraries.

Royal Caribbean International:

• Suspending sailings through May 31

• Excluding Quantum of the Seas and Odyssey of the Seas

• Excluding China Spectrum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas sailings from April 30 through May and beyond

Celebrity Cruises:

• Suspending sailings through May 31

Silversea Cruises:

• Suspending sailings through May 31 Azamara:

• Suspending sailings though June 30

Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas resumed sailing in Singapore last year with the local government’s CruiseSafe Certification. The certification confirms the three- and four-night Ocean Getaways meet the comprehensive health and safety requirements developed by the Singapore government. Recently, the company announced that Israeli holidaymakers will set a new course for adventure this summer when Royal Caribbean International begins sailing from Israel for the first time in May with fully vaccinated crew and guests over the age of 16. The global cruise line will offer Israelis a combination of three- to seven-night escapes visiting the Greek Isles and Cyprus on board its highly anticipated, brand-new ship, Odyssey of the Seas. The new sailings will go on sale on Tuesday, March 9. Royal Caribbean Group continues to work with our Healthy Sail Panel of globally recognized scientific and medical experts to come back stronger, and we look forward to welcoming our guests back on board.

Holland America Line and Princess Cruises Offering Alaska Land Vacations This Summer
For those ready to travel again, there's no better place to start than Alaska, offering opportunities for travelers to see glaciers up close, spot bucket-list wildlife, explore national parks and see Denali – North America's tallest mountain. This summer, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises offer many ways for travelers to experience Alaska through Gray Line Alaska, Princess Alaska Lodges and Holland America Line's Westmark Hotels, giving travelers a combination of tours, lodging and sightseeing options on land.

"We love Alaska, and we love that we get to share it with visitors from all over the world. We're committed to helping locals and visitors alike experience all the best parts of Alaska in a safe way," said Dave McGlothlin, Vice President, Tour Operations. "For the last year, many people stayed close to home, so this summer, as we're able to reopen some of these land offerings, we are more ready than ever to welcome visitors back through our doors."

This year's tours highlight the best of Alaska's interior with COVID-19 health and safety precautions top of mind, both for the well-being of employees and guests. For travelers who want to take the legwork out of planning their Alaska vacation, a tour is a great option. For travelers who want to go at their own pace and make their own itinerary, hotel and sightseeing options make for a custom experience.

Among the highlights for escorted tours will be the full eight-hour Tundra Wilderness Tour at Denali, where guests have opportunities to see the big five – grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep. Other included tours are the Portage Glacier Cruise near Anchorage and Riverboat Discovery excursion in Fairbanks. In addition, optional tours such as flightseeing around the mountain, river rafting, and more will be available to book at each hotel property.

Options this summer include the following:

Escorted and Explorer tours

• Variations between Kenai, Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks are available.

• Escorted tours include a tour director and range from six to seven nights.

• Explorer tours do not include a tour director, but helpful staff members are available along the way. Tours range from five to six nights.

• Rail travel on GoldStar service on Alaska Railroad rail cars.

• Most meals and some sightseeing included.

Denali Rail tours

• Trip variations range from one to six nights with up to four nights at Denali National Park.

• Options include travel by rail or a combination of rail and deluxe motor coach. Rail travel is hosted in Adventure Class on Alaska Railroad rail cars with the option to upgrade to GoldStar.

• Tour choices include round trip from Anchorage to Denali, Anchorage to Denali to Fairbanks, or Fairbanks to Denali to Anchorage.

• No meals or sightseeing included. Guests may customize their experience with optional tours.

Hotel only and sightseeing

• The Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center is currently open. Additional properties will open for guests, May 28- September 6, including Holland America Line's McKinley Chalet Resort at Denali National Park and Preserve and the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge overlooking the world-famous Kenai River.

• Portage Glacier Cruises will operate, May 28-September 6. Portage Glacier Cruises will run five daily departures of its one-hour cruise to see the face of Portage Glacier, including one departure at 1:30 p.m. that includes round trip transportation from Anchorage with a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

Princess and Holland America Line are working to create new health and safety protocols to address COVID-19, to ensure the well-being of guests, team members and the greater community. Information and advisories about traveling to Alaska from the Lower 48 or an international destination is available at the State of Alaska Safe Travels website. Anyone booking with Gray Line Alaska, Princess Alaska Lodges or Holland America Line's Westmark Hotels is encouraged to review and follow the advisories put in place to help people travel responsibly.

2022 Alaska Season

After getting a taste of "The Last Frontier" this summer, set sail for new experiences onboard either Holland America Line or Princess Cruises.

In 2022, Holland America Line will celebrate 75 years of Alaska exploration — longer than any other cruise line — and bookings are now open for its award-winning cruises and Land+Sea Journeys. From April through October 2022, guests can embark on Holland America Line's cruises to Alaska aboard Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam and Zuiderdam. For explorers who want to travel farther into the Great Land, 16 different Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Alaska cruise with an inland exploration of Denali National Park. Holland America Line is the only cruise line that extends land tour options up to the unspoiled reaches of Canada's Yukon Territory. Visit www.hollandamerica.com for more information.

vMore guests choose Princess in Alaska than any other cruise line, exclusive Direct to the Wilderness rail service on custom built rail cars and Princess Wilderness Lodges. The newly announced 2022 Alaska cruise and cruisetour program offers six ships, including the line's newest ship, Discovery Princess. Guests can choose from 12 cruise itineraries, plus 25 seamless cruisetour options. Cruisetour guests see even more of Alaska by combining a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with multiple nights on land in the heart of Alaska. Every cruisetour features Alaska's top two attractions Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park, with options ranging from 10 to 17 nights. Princess owns and operates five wilderness lodges, located on the doorsteps of legendary national parks. Visit www.princess.com for more information.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 26.69 + 1.44%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.91 - 3.77%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.475 - 3.06%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 29.31 - 1.81%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship starred along side Richard Harris, Anthony Hopkins and Omar Sharif as the fictional Britannic in the 1974 movie Juggernaut?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship was the first ship to be so large that she could not fit through the Panama Canal?

Answer - The Carnival Destiny was the first cruise ship too large to fit through the Panama Canal. (Note: NCL's Norway was also too large to fit through the Panama Canal but she started life as an ocean liner).
courtesy of Robert Brenner, Charlottesville, Va.


Cruise News - March 1, 2021

Royal Caribbean Says “Shalom, Israel” with Odyssey of the Seas Debut
Israeli holidaymakers will set a new course for adventure this summer when Royal Caribbean International begins sailing from Israel for the first time in May. The global cruise line will offer Israelis a combination of 3- to 7-night escapes visiting the Greek Isles and Cyprus on board its highly anticipated, brand-new ship, Odyssey of the Seas. The new sailings will go on sale on Tuesday, March 9.

The itineraries, roundtrip from Haifa, Israel, will include visits to idyllic isles and destinations in the Mediterranean, including Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and Limassol, Cyprus.

“We are thrilled to debut Royal Caribbean cruises from Israel with our newest and most innovative ship, Odyssey of the Seas. Israeli travelers will be looking to get away, relax with total peace of mind, and enjoy the travel experiences they are missing dearly; and that is what we do best,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Sailing from Israel is an opportunity we have had our sights on for quite some time. We greatly appreciate the government of Israel for their collaboration and confidence in us to deliver memorable cruise experiences to their residents, and look forward to delivering on that promise aboard our newest ship – the first ‘Green Island’ at sea.”

Residents of Israel will be the first guests to cruise on Odyssey during its inaugural season. The innovative ship is designed to make for a memorable holiday for every kind of traveler, with a variety of new and signature experiences from bow to stern. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea, highlights on board include a two-level pool deck designed for downtime under the sun and stars, SeaPlex – the two-level indoor and outdoor activity complex that is a high-adrenaline playground for all ages, and a lineup of complimentary and specialty restaurants primed to please every palate with cuisine from around the world. And entertainment throughout the ship will be punctuated by high-tech signature productions in the Royal Theater and Two70, where art and multimedia merge for jaw-dropping performances found only on Odyssey.

“Thanks to the millions of vaccines we have brought, I am proud that Israel will be the first country in the world to launch Royal Caribbean’s new flagship. Royal Caribbean's decision to come to Israel is a significant expression of confidence in our policy. This is an important economic, touristic moment for the State of Israel,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Israel is a global model of success. We will continue our program – the ‘green passport’ – so that we can get out of the COVID-19 virus in peace. Just as we made Israel the world champion in vaccines, we will make it the world champion in economics and tourism in the post-Corona era.”

In conjunction with Israel’s health and tourism authorities, Royal Caribbean will be the first to offer fully vaccinated sailings, where both crew and guests above the age of 16 will be vaccinated against COVID-19. Details on the additional health and safety measures to be implemented by Israel and Royal Caribbean will be announced at a later date.

The Greek Minister of Tourism, Mr. Haris Theoharis, supports all the efforts for the resumption of cruising in Greece and the surrounding area. He said, “We are very happy with today’s announcement as our recent travel agreement with Israel is already bringing results, and more people will have the opportunity to have unique experiences in our beautiful destinations and islands.”

Savvas Perdios, the Deputy Minister of Tourism for Cyprus commented, “It is an honor to be featured in Royal Caribbean’s itinerary this summer, and we are delighted to welcome their newest ship to our island. Cyprus supports the cruise industry and is pleased to help the industry on its road to recovery. We are certain that guests will have a great time, both on board the ship and when visiting Cyprus, one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean.”

P&O Cruises to Offer "The Ultimate Escape" Staycation this Summer
P&O Cruises will offer a series of short break and week-long UK cruises as "the ultimate escape" staycation this summer. The cruises will go on sale later in March.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: "Following recent Government announcements and as the vaccine programme is rolled out across the globe we can all begin to feel a sense of reassurance and hope that this current lockdown period in the UK will come to an end. Life can, we hope, slowly return to some semblance of our previous normality as hospitality opens up and summer holidays can be booked with confidence.

"Whilst holidays here in the UK will be the first to become a reality we will, of course, gradually see the return of international travel but first we want guests to be able to enjoy a proper summer holiday at sea with the best in relaxation, entertainment and dining choice.

"These sailings will leave from our home port in Southampton and sail around UK coastal waters enjoying the summer sunshine. More details of dates, prices and the experience on board will be announced later this month, but they will, of course, all have flexibility so guests can book with confidence.

"We hope that the UK "ultimate escape" staycation option will have wide appeal and we will do our utmost to make it a very special time. There really will be something for everyone and the opportunity to spend precious and much-longed for time with family and friends.

"In order to offer these UK breaks it does mean that unfortunately we need to cancel some of our current published programme of holidays this summer. Cruises on Arcadia, Aurora, Azura and Ventura have been cancelled until the end of August and on Britannia and Iona until the end of September.

"We remain in very close contact with the UK Government and associated bodies as we monitor the latest situation and guidance on travel. From the moment we see travel restrictions lifting we will begin the significant logistical task to re-start our operations. It will take some time for the first ship to return to service, followed by the phased return of the remaining fleet. We cannot wait to welcome everyone back on board with the protection of effective protocols to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all crew and guests.

"I really am so sorry for the disappointment these cancellations will cause but hope that the new UK cruises will enable everyone to enjoy a wonderful holiday this summer."

All guests whose cruises have been cancelled will automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit worth 125% of what they paid. This 125% Future Cruise Credit can be redeemed against any new booking made by the end of December 2021, on any cruise on sale at the time of booking.

Alternatively, 100% refund is available through the form on www.pocruises.com and may be requested until December 2021.

Odyssey Of The Seas Reaches Key Construction Milestone
Odyssey of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International's brand-new ship under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, has completed its 10-plus-hour, 20-mile (32-kilometer) conveyance. The conveyance is a process unique to ships built at Meyer Werft, as the shipyard is situated inland along the Ems River, and the ship must make the journey backward and down the river to get to the North Sea.

Straight from Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, here is a sneak peek at how construction is moving along for Royal Caribbean’s new, highly anticipated ship, Odyssey of the Seas. The innovative Quantum Ultra Class ship will tout a showstopping lineup of guest favorites and brand new experiences for vacationers of all ages, including the Sky Pad virtual reality and bungee trampoline adventure, the North Star glass observation capsule, Ripcord by iFly skydiving and FlowRider surf simulators, The Lime & Coconut and the new Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar.

A sight to behold, maneuvering a 169,000-gross-ton ship that measures 1,138 feet (347 meters) long and 135 feet (41 meters) wide is no mean feat. The milestone naturally draws local residents to the riverbanks to marvel at this impressive technical and operational moment.

Boasting all-new and first-to-brand experiences, Odyssey will raise the bar when it comes to all aspects of the cruise experience. The innovative Quantum Ultra Class ship's combination of iconic Quantum Class favorites and new-to-class features include:

• SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity center at sea that will now offer guests an indoor and outdoor activity complex. Think sports courts, bumper cars, laser tag, digital interactive games, jumbo screens, a DJ booth and more; this is the ultimate, high-adrenaline playground for all ages. The two-level venue will also be home to the first-in-class Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, where guests can catch their team on dozens of screens and enjoy a menu of game-day favorites and icy-cold drafts on tap.

• Odyssey's pool deck is a vibrant oasis with additional uncovered pool space to optimize sun-soaked vacation experiences. Guests can lounge on the Caribbean-inspired pool deck, unwind in the four whirlpools or shady hammocks and casitas on decks 14 and 15, and cool off with freshly made cocktails at the two-level signature bar, The Lime & Coconut.

• Dedicated spaces for kids and teens have been amplified with technology to offer interactive, personalized and unexpected experiences. Teens have access to their exclusive area, Social180, which also includes an outdoor wraparound deck, The Patio, to hang out with ocean views. With a gaming lounge, movies, music and outdoor games, 13- to 17-year-olds have everything they need and can socialize without kids and grownups cramping their style.

• Bringing guests a taste of Italy is Royal Caribbean's first Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar. From hand-tossed pizzas delivered straight from the pizza oven to a wine list that ranges from Sangiovese to Super Tuscan, travelers can enjoy traditional, rustic Italian dishes and fresh Mediterranean flavors.

• Hunger pangs will be alleviated with Odyssey's diverse range of dining options. Never before seen in North America is Teppanyaki, the restaurant serving authentic Asian flavors cooked in one of Japan's traditional styles. Travelers can also expect to find Royal Caribbean favorites, including sushi and sashimi at Izumi, hand-cut steaks at Chops Grille, the Chef's Table epicurean, intimate experience and imaginative cuisine at Wonderland.

• Whether it's surfing the waves on the signature FlowRider surf simulator or feeling the freedom of freefall on RipCord by iFly – the skydiving simulator – Odyssey will satisfy any adrenaline seeker. Not forgetting the 40-foot rock wall and gravity-defying SkyPad, the virtual reality and bungee trampoline experience that transports guests to another world. Those looking for unrivaled 360-degree views have the North Star glass observation capsule that extends 300 feet (91 meters) above the ocean.

• Guests can expect Royal Caribbean's signature productions and famed Quantum Class entertainment in teched-out venues, complete with immersive technology, unparalleled special effects and world-leading talent. Fusing art and technology, Two70 boasts 270-degree panoramic windows with sweeping ocean views in an expansive open-area living room, which transforms in plain sight into a 135-foot-wide (41 meters) and 22-foot-tall (6 meters) screen powered by Vistarama technology. At night, the iconic venue becomes a multidimensional theater, where a troupe of six agile Roboscreens come to life in sync with music, special effects and live performers and aerialists. Guests can then head to Music Hall for an ever-changing setlist of live performances and epic cover bands, but not before grabbing a drink served by robots at the Bionic Bar.

In a Royal Caribbean first, Odyssey will debut in Haifa, Israel this May. Residents of Israel will be the first to experience the ship on a mix of 3- to 7-night escapes visiting the Greek Isles and Cyprus, roundtrip from Haifa. Odyssey will then cross the Atlantic to begin its inaugural North American season in November, offering 6- to 8-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale and visiting far-flung destinations, including Curacao and Aruba.

Holland America Line Extends Cruise Pause to Include All Departures Sailing to or from a Canadian Port in 2021
As Holland America Line continues to review and assess its plans around the Canadian Transport Ministry's Interim Order that closed Canadian ports and waters to passenger vessels, the company is extending its pause of cruise operations to now include all sailings that depart from or conclude in a Canadian port in 2021. This will include several Alaska, three Canada/New England and two Pacific Coastal cruises in summer and fall of this year. It also includes all Land+Sea Journeys.

At this time, Alaska cruises departing from mid-May and sailing roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, are not being canceled. Discussions are underway with Canadian and United States government authorities to try to find a path forward to preserve these sailings. As more information is known, an announcement will be made. Guests on impacted Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys involving a Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, gateway may not move to roundtrip Seattle cruises at this time, as these departures are not open for sale pending further announcements.

"Holland America Line, in alliance with our entire industry, is optimistic for the resumption of cruising around North America and worldwide," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "However, we must be practical in our approach by acknowledging the limitations put in place by the current Canadian order that requires us to cancel select sailings. We thank our guests for their patience and understanding and know that they, like us, are eager to see cruising begin again soon."

Cruises impacted by this pause in operation are:

• Alaska: Cruises through September 2021 to Alaska from all departure ports aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Zuiderdam. This also includes any Land+Sea Journeys connected with canceled Alaska sailings.

• Pacific Coastal: Two sailings in early October aboard Koningsdam and Oosterdam.

• Canada/New England: Three cruises aboard Zaandam departing in September 2021.

All 2022 Alaska and Canada/New England cruises will operate as scheduled. The Canadian Interim Order expires Feb. 28, 2022.

Holland America Line is closely following the protocol set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is preparing ships and implementing procedures to meet all requirements for approval to sail at the appropriate time.

Guests Automatically Rebooked in 2022 on Similar Cruise Holland America Line is notifying guests and their travel advisors of their options. Guests on Alaska and Canada/New England canceled departures that are paid in full automatically will be rebooked on an equivalent cruise or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021 – with all cash and FCC funds moved to the new booking. No other action is needed when accepting the rebooked itinerary. Replacement 2022 booking confirmations will be automatically sent within 30 days of this announcement.

All guests receive the following options:

• Paid in Full: Those who have paid in full will be automatically rebooked to the same cruise or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full may elect to be moved to the same cruise type or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021.

If guests decide not to accept a cruise booking in 2022 by March 31, 2021, they automatically default to receive an FCC of 110% of any cash paid on the booking. The minimum FCC is $25 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid. Guests will retain any other FCC used for the canceled 2021 booking with all FCC amounts moved to their loyalty account for use on a future cruise booking. For all bookings in 2022, standard cancellation policies will apply. Due to the fact that there are no equivalent cruises in 2022, Pacific Coastal cruise guests will receive the option for an FCC or full refund.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause to Select Alaska, Canada & New England and Pacific Coastal Sailings in 2021
As Princess Cruises continues to review and assess its operations as a result of the Canadian Transport Ministry's Interim Order that extends the closure of Canadian ports and waters to passenger vessels, the company has found it necessary to cancel the following voyages:

• Alaska seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruises, sailing between Vancouver, B.C. and Anchorage (Whittier)

• Pacific Coastals that start or end in Vancouver, B.C.

• Canadian Adventure sailing roundtrip from Southampton, UK

Princess is engaged with various United States and Canadian government officials to try to preserve a portion of the Alaska and Canada & New England 2021 cruise seasons. In the meantime, Princess has committed to operating the Kenai Princess Wilderness lodge along with McKinley Chalet Resort in Denali and Westmark Fairbanks Hotel this summer and is currently working on vacation land package details that will be announced shortly.

"We share in our guests' disappointment over these cancelled voyages especially as we have been preparing our ships for our return to service," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "Princess Cruises has sailed to Alaska for more than 50 years and the incredible Last Frontier is part of our proud heritage. We understand, how much of Alaska is dependent on the cruise economy. We are going to do all we can to help our business partners and the communities of Alaska."

For guests currently booked on a cancelled voyage who had paid in full, Princess will automatically rebook them to the same cruise or cruisetour in 2022. No action is required from guests or their travel advisors. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests' 2021 fare on their 2022 cruise. Once Princess has completed the booking transfer, if the guest would prefer an alternative option, they can choose a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD) or a full refund to the original form of payment.

Guests not paid in full will automatically receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD).

FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022. Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by March 31, 2021 or guests who are not paid in full will automatically receive the Future Cruise Credit option.

Royal Caribbean Group Announces Proposed Offering of Common Stock
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) (the "Company") today announced that it has commenced an underwritten public offering of $1.5 billion of shares of common stock of the Company. The Company expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

Morgan Stanley is acting as underwriter for the offering of common stock. A shelf registration statement relating to the shares of common stock has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and has become effective. The offering may be made only by means of a prospectus supplement and an accompanying base prospectus.

A preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the offering will be filed with the SEC and will be available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Copies of the preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained from Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, 180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10014, Attention: Prospectus Department.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 26.31 + 1.31%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 91.35 + 5.94%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.49 + 66.67%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 29.85 + 4.52%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship was the first ship to be so large that she could not fit through the Panama Canal?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship was the first ship to be so large that she could not fit through the Panama Canal?

Answer - The Carnival Destiny was the first cruise ship too large to fit through the Panama Canal. (Note: NCL's Norway was also too large to fit through the Panama Canal but she started life as an ocean liner).
courtesy of Robert Brenner, Charlottesville, Va.


Cruise News - February 22, 2021

Costa Restarts Cruises With New Program From March 27
The cruise ships of Costa Cruises are ready to set sail again and offer guests holidays filled with leisure and relaxation, along with enhanced health and safety protocols.

The restart begins with the departure of the flagship Costa Smeralda, scheduled for March 27 with an unchanged itinerary, sailing guests to beautiful Italian locations, with 3- and 4-day mini-cruises or alternatively a 7-day cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.

From May 1, Costa Smeralda will return to sailing one-week cruises in the western Mediterranean, with visits to Italy (Savona, Civitavecchia and Palermo), France (Marseille) and Spain (Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca).

A second ship, Costa Luminosa, will also be back in service, departing from Trieste from May 2, and the following day from Bari, confirming its program of one-week cruises in Greece and Croatia.

Costa is working with national and local authorities of the countries included in the itineraries of its ships outside Italy to define the details of the restart of cruise operations, with enhanced health and safety measures through the implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol.

The protocol contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore, which were implemented in the past months of cruise operations. Such measures include limited capacity, swab tests for all guests and crew, temperature checks when disembarking and re-embarking the ship, protected shore excursions, physical distancing on board and at the cruise terminals, new ways of using on-board services, enhanced sanitation and medical services, and use of protective face masks when necessary.

Details of the itineraries, with related booking options, will soon be available on the website www.costacruises.eu and at travel agencies.

All other cruises scheduled until the end of May, and not included in the program updated today, will be cancelled.

Carnival Cruise Line Extends Pause From U.S. Through May 2021
Carnival Cruise Line has notified booked guests and travel advisors that its pause in operations from U.S. ports has been extended through May 31, 2021.

A date for the return of guest cruising operations from U.S. ports has not yet been determined. Earlier in February, Carnival began providing more flexible options for guests booked into early summer so that they could cancel their reservation without penalty if they needed or wanted to make other plans. As it has done throughout the pause, Carnival is providing guests on cruises cancelled today the choice of a future cruise credit plus onboard credit package, or a full refund.

"We continue to work on plans to resume operations and are encouraged by the focus to expedite vaccine production and distribution which are having a demonstrated impact on improving public health," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We appreciate the support of all of our guests, employees and trade partners who we know are looking forward to our return."

Royal Caribbean Group Reports 2020 Results
Royal Caribbean Group today reported financial results for the fiscal year of 2020 and commented on the business considering the global COVID-19 pandemic.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is having a painful and profound impact on our world and our business; unquestionably, this crisis is the most difficult in the Company's history. But we have been impressed and grateful for the resourcefulness and agility of our team in responding to these unprecedented challenges. More importantly, we remain confident about the ability of our Company to recover and return to the positive trajectory we were on previously," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO. "We are encouraged to see the sharp decline in cases and the growing availability of vaccines. We can't wait to get back to the business of showing people the world and making great memories."

Full Year 2020 results:

As part of the global containment effort resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company implemented a voluntary suspension of its cruise operations beginning March 13, 2020, which has been extended for most ships through at least April 30, 2021.

For the full year, the Company reported US GAAP Net Loss of $(5.8) billion or $(27.05) per share compared to US GAAP Net Income of $1.9 billion or $8.95 per share in the prior year. The Company also reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(3.9) billion or $(18.31) per share for full year 2020 compared to Adjusted Net Income of $2.0 billion or $9.54 per share in the prior year.

Fourth Quarter 2020 results:

US GAAP Net Loss for the fourth quarter was $(1.4) billion or $(6.09) per share and Adjusted Net Loss was $(1.1) billion or $(5.02) per share. Last year, US GAAP Net Income was $273.1 million or $1.30 per share, and Adjusted Net Income was $297.4 million or $1.42 per share for the fourth quarter.

The Net Loss and Adjusted Net Loss for the fourth quarter and full year of 2020 are the result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business.

"These results reflect the staggering impact that the pandemic brought to our Company and the whole industry during 2020," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "I want to thank all our teams who have risen to the occasion, managing through the toughest year in Royal Caribbean's history."

Health & Safety Protocols, Business Update

The Company continues to work and collaborate with the Healthy Sail Panel, epidemiologists, health authorities and various governments around the globe to ensure a healthy and safe return to cruising for guests, crew and the communities visited. While the situation remains highly fluid, knowledge of the virus and how it spreads continues to improve.

The Company has already begun some limited operations. For example, in December, Quantum of the Seas started operating out of Singapore. In addition, our TUI Cruises affiliate has had three vessels operating in the Canary Islands since November. "Guests are sharing very positive reviews and we are also seeing a higher proportion of first-time cruisers than expected. We believe that these cruises, even before the availability of vaccines, are helping us learn and demonstrate to others how we can operate successfully under the current COVID-19 environment," noted Mr. Fain.

The Company also continues to prepare and develop its plan to meet the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for US sailings. While the framework represents an important step to return to service, many uncertainties remain as to the specifics, timing, and cost of implementing its requirements. Overall, and due to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Company expects to re-start its global cruise operation in a phased manner with the initial cruises having reduced guest occupancy, modified itineraries and enhanced health and safety protocols.

On January 29, 2021, the Company announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Azamara brand in an all-cash transaction for $201 million. The deal includes Azamara's three-ship fleet and associated intellectual property.

Update on Liquidity Actions and Ongoing Uses of Cash

Since the suspension of its global cruise operation, the Company has taken aggressive actions to enhance its liquidity through significant cost and capital reductions, cash preservation measures and by obtaining additional financing. During 2020, the Company raised approximately $9.3 billion of new capital through a combination of bond issuances, common stock public offerings and other loan facilities.

P&O Cruises Australia Extends Cruising Pause
P&O Cruises Australia is maintaining its optimism for the ultimate restart of cruising while, in the meantime, again taking a practical approach in extending its current operational pause to departures on or before 18 June, 2021.

Guests with bookings affected by the pause extension are being given as much notice as possible to provide them with greater certainty around their holiday plans.

"While we are becoming increasingly confident in the restart of cruising in Australia, we are continuing with the realistic and pragmatic approach we have adopted previously," P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said.

"We know from our contact with guests and through our social media channels that they, like us, can't wait to be cruising again and our crew can't wait to again be delivering exceptional cruise holiday experiences.

"We once again thank our guests for their patience and understanding and for their unwavering loyalty to Australia's homegrown cruise line."

P&O will make contact with guests whose cruises have been affected, either directly or via their appointed travel agent, to let them know of the pause extension and the options available to them.

Royal Caribbean Debuts Short Carivvean Sailings
Royal Caribbean International today revealed all-new short Caribbean sailings that redefine what it means to “get away.” With more ships offering shorter and more frequent escapes in 2022-2023, the cruise line provides vacationers with the flexibility they need without sacrificing the adventure they crave. Guests can make the most of a long weekend away or a midweek break on one of eight innovative ships, departing from five ports across Florida and Texas, sailing 17 distinct itineraries. The convenient 3- to 5-night cruise vacations combine unparalleled onboard experiences with culturally rich destinations perfect for any type of traveler.

There will be no shortage of adventure, from discovering the ancient ruins of Costa Maya, Mexico to exploring the tropical picture-perfect islands of The Bahamas and Caribbean. Guests can also experience the endless thrill and chill that awaits on Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s game-changing private destination in The Bahamas. The island features Thrill Waterpark with 13 jaw-dropping slides, like the tallest waterslide in North America; the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool; and Up, Up & Away, the helium balloon that floats up to 450 feet in the air. Vacationers can enjoy The Bahamas’ first floating cabanas at the destination’s Coco Beach Club, which includes a beachside dining experience, infinity pool and private cabanas.

Royal Caribbean’s 2022-2023 seasonal and year-round short Caribbean cruises open for bookings today. Highlights of the sun-soaked sailings include:

Unforgettable Year-Round Adventures

• On the heels of a $116 million amplification in 2020, Freedom of the Seas will sail 3- and 4-night cruises from Miami to Nassau and top-rated Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas.

• Independence of the Seas will continue to sail 3- and 4-night getaways from Orlando’s Port Canaveral to The Bahamas, with full-day visits in Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Tropical Seasonal Getaways

• Liberty of the Seas will take a turn in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to sail alternating 3- and 4-night winter escapes to The Bahamas, including Perfect Day at CocoCay and Grand Bahama Island – a new destination for the ship.

• Mariner of the Seas, the ship that first revolutionized the short Caribbean getaway with amplified experiences, will continue sailing from Port Canaveral through the winter, now with southbound 4- and 5-night cruises to the western Caribbean and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

• Brilliance of the Seas will set sail from Venice (Ravenna), Italy to settle in Tampa, Florida for the winter season. The ship will embark on a mix of 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean itineraries, offering select 4-night sailings to Nassau and Key West, Florida.

• Tampa favorite Rhapsody of the Seas will sail 4- and 5-night sailings to Cozumel, Mexico and George Town, Grand Cayman in the spring and early fall. In the heart of summer, vacationers can opt for 7-night adventures visiting Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico.

• Following a summer in the Big Apple, Adventure of the Seas will return to Galveston for the winter season to sail 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean itineraries to Cozumel and Costa Maya.

• Grandeur of the Seas will set its sights on Galveston for the summer in 2022, following the ship’s first winter season cruising from Barbados. The 4- and 5-night itineraries from the Lonestar State will visit the picturesque shores of Costa Maya and Cozumel.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 25.97 + 26.07%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 86.23 + 27.50%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.50 + 66.67%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 28.56 + 21.33%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship was the first ship to be so large that she could not fit through the Panama Canal?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
American Export Lines operated a quartet of popular combination ships following the Second World War. The ships were known as the "Four Aces". What were the names of these ships.

Answer - The 4 Aces were the quartet of passenger-cargo liners Excalibur, Exochorda, Exeter, and Excambion, originally built for American Export Lines by New York Shipbuilding of Camden, New Jersey between 1929 and 1931.
courtesy of Ron Russo, Salem, New Hampshire


Cruise News - February 15, 2021

AIDA Cruises opens 2021 cruise season on March 20
AIDA Cruises today announced it will open its 2021 cruise season starting March 20 with AIDAperla sailing around the Canary Islands, the group of Spanish islands off the northwest coast of Africa, a favorite "fly and cruise" vacation for German travelers looking to enjoy the region's "eternal spring" weather and unique destinations.

The German federal government has extended the lockdown to contain the pandemic until March 2021. Many of AIDA's cruise destinations have also implemented measures that significantly restrict international holiday travel through early spring.

As a result, AIDA is also announcing that all trips originally planned from March 6 up to and including March 19, 2021, are unable to take place. AIDA Cruises appreciates all guests affected for their understanding.

With the "AIDA promise," the cruise company offers guests more flexibility and security in planning. Generous booking options are part of AIDA's commitment to its guests, ranging from small down payments to free rebooking. The "AIDA promise" is included in the travel price for new bookings up to March 31, 2021, and applies to departures up to Oct. 31, 2021.

All cruises are carried out in compliance with AIDA's extensive health and safety protocols, as well as national and local laws and regulations for infection protection. More information is available at www.aida.de/sichererurlaub.

All guests whose voyage cannot take place as originally scheduled will be informed immediately. To make it easy for guests to enjoy their long-awaited AIDA holidays at a later date, the company offers rebooking options from its diverse range of cruises.

Costa Restarts Cruises With New Program From March 27
The cruise ships of Costa Cruises are ready to set sail again and offer guests holidays filled with leisure and relaxation, along with enhanced health and safety protocols.

The restart begins with the departure of the flagship Costa Smeralda, scheduled for March 27 with an unchanged itinerary, sailing guests to beautiful Italian locations, with 3- and 4-day mini-cruises or alternatively a 7-day cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.

From May 1, Costa Smeralda will return to sailing one-week cruises in the western Mediterranean, with visits to Italy (Savona, Civitavecchia and Palermo), France (Marseille) and Spain (Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca).

A second ship, Costa Luminosa, will also be back in service, departing from Trieste from May 2, and the following day from Bari, confirming its program of one-week cruises in Greece and Croatia.

Costa is working with national and local authorities of the countries included in the itineraries of its ships outside Italy to define the details of the restart of cruise operations, with enhanced health and safety measures through the implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol.

The protocol contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore, which were implemented in the past months of cruise operations. Such measures include limited capacity, swab tests for all guests and crew, temperature checks when disembarking and re-embarking the ship, protected shore excursions, physical distancing on board and at the cruise terminals, new ways of using on-board services, enhanced sanitation and medical services, and use of protective face masks when necessary.

Details of the itineraries, with related booking options, will soon be available on the website www.costacruises.eu and at travel agencies.

All other cruises scheduled until the end of May, and not included in the program updated today, will be cancelled. Costa is in the process of informing travel agents and customers affected by changes.

Royal Caribbean Announces Extension of the Singapore Season for Quantum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International today announced the extension of the Singapore season for Quantum of the Seas, one of Asia’s largest and most revolutionary ships. This follows the success of the safe cruises pilot programme, which launched in December 2020. With this extension, Royal Caribbean will deploy Quantum for an additional three months in Singapore between 22 March 2021 and 21 June 2021.

Singapore residents can continue to satisfy their feelings of wanderlust and enjoy fun-filled activities, next-generation entertainment and world-class dining on board one of Royal Caribbean’s most groundbreaking ships. Now available for bookings, these 2-, 3- and 4-night Ocean Getaways will continue to operate with the same set of comprehensive health and safety measures in place, such as mandatory COVID-19 testing, reduced sailing capacity and strict physical distancing measures.

“We are thrilled to announce the extension of the sailing season and look forward to having guests experience first-hand our signature cruise vacation that has wowed local cruisers already, with many booking repeat visits,” said Angie Stephen, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean International. “Our close partnership with the Singapore Government has played an instrumental role in the success of these pilot cruises, and we remain committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our guests and crew during these additional sailings.”

Holidaymakers of all ages can expect the same signature Royal Caribbean experience on their Ocean Getaway, while cruising with peace of mind. The global cruise operator has taken every effort to keep guests and crew aboard Quantum of the Seas safe through a comprehensive set of health and safety measures that adhere to the CruiseSafe Certification standards jointly developed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and DNV GL[1]. For a full list of health and safety measures being enforced on board Quantum, visit www.royalpromise.com/singapore.

The ground-breaking Quantum of the Seas features unmatched innovations in onboard attractions, such as RipCord by iFLY, the first skydiving experience at sea; North Star, an engineering marvel that transports guests more than 300 feet above the ocean; SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; as well as the Bionic Bar powered by Makr Shakr—home to the world’s first robotic bartenders. Guests will also get to enjoy a landscape of 18 restaurant concepts as vast and varied as dining in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, including specialty restaurants created with partner chefs such as Jamie Oliver.

Guests who book their sail-cation on Quantum of the Seas before 30 April 2021 can be assured of flexibility in their plans with Royal Caribbean’s Cruise with Confidence program, which allows for changes and cancellations up to 48 hours before the cruise begins. For even greater peace of mind, included with the cruise are COVID-19 protections which include a 100% credit towards a future cruise should a guest or any member of their travel party test positive for COVID-19 during the three weeks prior to their booked cruise; or a full refund if a guest, or any member of their travel party, tests positive during their voyage. Royal Caribbean will continue to cover COVID-19 related costs up to $25,000 SGD per person in the travel party for onboard medical costs, any required quarantine, and travel home.

Royal Caribbean Announces New York Sailings in 2022
Royal Caribbean International today opens a new lineup of 2022-2023 adventures on three award-winning ships – Adventure, Anthem and Voyager of the Seas – cruising from the Big Apple and Boston. Vacationers can set sail into vacation mode on cruises headed north or south for 4 to 11 nights. Whether exploring the island jewels of the southern Caribbean, relishing the famed beaches of Bermuda and The Bahamas, taking a day for thrill and chill at Royal Caribbean’s top-rated private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, or catching the golden hues of fall foliage in New England and the Great White North, guests have their choice of Royal Caribbean’s best season in the Northeast yet.

The new sailings from the Northeast departing from May 2022 to April 2023 are now open for sale. Highlights of the upcoming warm-weather and cooler escapes include:

Adventure of the Seas, packed with onboard thrills like The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides and a variety of dining options including Izumi, will return to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey to sail a combination of itineraries to Bermuda, the Caribbean and Canada. City-dwellers can opt to recharge in the sun with 5-night Bermuda cruises to enjoy the island’s colorful culture, natural beauty and an evening out in the historic city of Kings Wharf during overnight stays. New for summer 2022, Adventure’s 9-night Eastern Caribbean sailings will bring within reach highly sought-after islands, including St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and Royal Caribbean’s private destination, Labadee, in Haiti. Vacationers looking to venture north for a brisk getaway have the option of 4- and 9-night cruises heading up the east coast to visit memorable ports of call Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Boston; Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine.

New York will also see the return of longtime favorite Anthem of the Seas when it arrives from Southampton, England in October 2022. Known for its groundbreaking attractions, from RipCord by iFly skydiving to the North Star observation capsule, next-generation entertainment and world-class dining, Anthem will set out on 7-night cruises to The Bahamas that include full days in Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay. From the tallest waterslide in North America and a signature helium balloon ride that offers the highest vantage point in The Bahamas, to The Bahamas’ first floating cabanas at the island’s exclusive Coco Beach Club, every kind of traveler can find their perfect dose of thrill and chill on Perfect Day at CocoCay. Guests looking for extended time in the tropics can opt for one of Anthem’s 11-night southern Caribbean sailings to iconic isles such as San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John’s, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia; and Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis.

Rounding out the season, Voyager of the Seas will make her Boston debut touting Royal Caribbean favorites, including Battle for Planet Z laser tag and The Perfect Storm waterslides duo that get hearts pumping with three stories of twists and turns. The thrilling combination of experiences will make for unforgettable family vacations on picturesque cruises showcasing the rugged beauty and rich history of the North Atlantic. In the midst of prime leaf peeping season, the 7-night sailings to Canada will bring guests to charming coastal towns, including Saint John, Halifax, as well as Bar Harbor and Portland. Vacationers looking for an escape to warm waters before winter can chart course for San Juan on a 7-night cruise with stops in the Dominican Republic and St. Thomas as well as a day of memory-making at Perfect Day at CocoCay. Voyager will arrive to the U.S. to start her season in Boston following a 14-night Arctic Crossing from Copenhagen, Denmark, which will bring guests to the wild landscapes of Iceland and Greenland along the way.

Seabourn Launches Two Ultimate Trips: 2023 World Cruise And 2023 Grand Voyage
Seabourn is inviting travelers to plan for travel in 2023 on the brand's World Cruise and Grand Voyage. The 140-day 2023 World Cruise: Extraordinary Discoveries on Seabourn Sojourn, and 79-day 2023 Grand Voyage: Grand Americas, Amazon & Antarctica aboard Seabourn Quest, offer two distinct voyages set to visit multiple continents and ports while offering exclusive opportunities to experience natural wonders and diverse cultures. The voyages will be open for sale tomorrow, February 12, and the full itinerary details will be available on Seabourn's website.

The itineraries of both sailings were carefully curated by Seabourn's Global Itinerary Planning and Product Development team, who designed each voyage with "differentiation" and unique experiences in mind.

"Our team designed the 2023 World Cruise and 2023 Grand Voyage to be exploratory in nature, focused on alluring destinations and experiences that most guests are likely not familiar with but will love being able to discover," said Tim Littley, senior director of Global Itinerary Planning and Product Development for Seabourn.

"Given these uncertain times, our guests have asked Seabourn to offer travel options further into the future. With the 2023 World Cruise and Grand Voyage, we open options well into 2023 for future planning," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Imagine sailing from Miami, heading south and then west around the world and finishing the voyage in Barcelona on Seabourn's world cruise or departing round-trip Miami and circumnavigating South America including iconic Antarctica."

2023 World Cruise: Extraordinary Discoveries

The 2023 World Cruise: Extraordinary Discoveries will see Seabourn Sojourn cross two great oceans – Pacific and Indian – as well as traverse the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of Africa, stopping at renowned ports, including Papeete, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Mombasa, Cape Town, Durban, Dakar, Casablanca and more. The ship will also visit a number of small, hidden gems in the South Pacific, Easter Island, Papua New Guinea, Western Australia, Seychelles, Cape Verde, West Africa and more. Departing on January 6, 2023, the 140-day voyage from Miami to Barcelona will visit a total of 61 destinations and 32 countries. The sailing will include overnights in 10 cities and extended stays late into the evening in 16 ports, offering more time in port for guests to explore these fascinating destinations. Seabourn will also offer segments of the World Cruise ranging from 21 to 81 days in length for travelers who can't sail for the full duration of the voyage.

2023 Grand Voyage: Grand Americas, Amazon & Antarctica

There will be plenty for guests to look forward to on the 2023 Grand Voyage as Seabourn Quest sails to Central America, skims the coast of South America, and sails to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, before making its way back smoothly to the Amazon and through the Caribbean. Departing on January 6, 2023, the 79-day voyage round-trip from Miami will visit a total of 37 destinations and 15 countries, with five overnight stays and extended stays late into the evening in eight destinations. Seabourn will also offer the Grand Voyage in shorter segments ranging from 21 to 58 days, should guests not have the flexibility to make the full two-month voyage.

Both voyages will offer the line's popular "Ventures by Seabourn" program, featuring expert expedition teams leading intensive explorations of extraordinary destinations on optional kayaking, Zodiac, snorkeling and trekking tours. The Grand Voyage will include a five-day "Antarctica Experience," where Zodiac cruising and landings will be included, while kayaking adventures will be optional.

There will also be exclusive special events planned over the course of each voyage, as well as local entertainment, regional cuisines, and palate-pleasing wines for guests to savor as they sail around the globe. Guests will also have opportunities to take their travels further with assorted picks from the line's optional Seabourn Journeys collection, offering escorted pre-, post- and mid-voyage experiences to explore iconic landmarks that are best experienced beyond a scheduled port call.

Carnival Cruise Line Launches Cruise-Themed Monopoly Game
Fans looking for a new way to remember their Carnival cruise at home – or better yet, imagine a future vacation when cruising resumes – can now enjoy Monopoly Carnival Fun Edition, a cruise-themed version on the classic board game.

The signature elements of the self-described “Fast Dealing Property Game” game are all there but with a unique twist with 28 popular Carnival Cruise Line features and attractions, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, Cherry on Top, Lido Marketplace, and JavaBlue Café, serving as landing spots for players. Each of the spaces have a designated value and players purchase these properties with money emblazoned with the line’s iconic funnel. There are also Cruise Director Announcements and Funnel Chest Cards with challenges and directions for players while game pieces appropriately enough include a cruise ship.

“Everyone has played Monopoly and we’re excited to create this one-of-a-kind version that includes many of Carnival’s most popular onboard spaces that we’re sure our fans will enjoy,” said Andres Villalever, director of retail for Carnival Cruise Line. “We’re always looking for new ways to celebrate the Carnival brand and when we had the opportunity to be a part of this custom-designed Monopoly game, we jumped at the chance.”

Monopoly Carnival Fun Edition is colorfully packaged with a giant image of its newest ship, Mardi Gras, on the cover, as well as on the game board itself.

Carnival Cruise Line Monopoly is available on the line’s online retail site.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.60 - 4.67%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 67.63 - 4.34%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.30 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 23.54 - 5.88%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
American Export Lines operated a quartet of popular combination ships following the Second World War. The ships were known as the "Four Aces". What were the names of these ships.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Few ocean liners or cruise ships end up preserved like the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Most end up in very different circumstances. Whatever happened to Cunard's famous Caronia of 1948?

Answer - Caronia was sold to Star Shipping in 1968, renamed Columbia. While in Greece for engine repairs was sold to A.Konstaninidis and renamed Caribia. On 2nd cruise out of New York in 1969 suffered engine explosion. Laid up in New York, then sold for scrapping in 1974. Wrecked off Guam amd broken up there.
courtesy of Rob Scafidi


Cruise News - February 8, 2021

Canada Bans Cruise Ships Through February 2022
The Government of Canada announced this week that continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on the marine and tourism sectors. Keeping Canadians and transportation workers safe and healthy are top priorities for Transport Canada.

Earlier this week, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced two new Interim Orders, which prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. This means:

• Adventure-seeking pleasure craft are still prohibited from entering Arctic waters.

• Passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and the Labrador Coast.

• Cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters.

• Pleasure craft used by local Arctic residents will not be affected by these measures.

With these prohibitions in place, public health authorities will be able to continue focusing on the most pressing issues, including the vaccine rollout and new COVID-19 variants.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada continues to advise Canadian citizens and permanent residents to avoid all travel on cruise ships outside Canada until further notice.

Essential passenger vessels, such as ferries and water taxis, should continue to follow local public health guidance and protocols, and follow mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks. These could include: reducing the number of passengers, ensuring physical distancing, the wearing of masks, and enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures.

Cruise vessels in Canadian waters pose a risk to our health care systems. The Government of Canada will continue to evaluate the situation and make changes as necessary to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians. Should the COVID-19 pandemic sufficiently improve to allow the resumption of these activities, the Minister of Transport has the ability to rescind the Interim Orders.

Canadian Cruise Ship Ban Opens Door for Smaller Operators
Small boat adventure brand, UnCruise Adventures announced this week that it will sail as scheduled despite Canada’s extended cruise ship ban into 2022. The U.S flagged and Alaska owned small boat operator does not fall under the ban, operating vessels with less than 100 passengers and crew. UnCruise Adventures will resume operations in May 2021 with 7–14-night itineraries offered into September. The company may be one of the only cruise lines operating in Alaska in 2021, working to support the many people in the region who rely on tourism.

The company’s CEO held a virtual press conference this morning to address growing questions and concerns about the future of cruising. UnCruise Adventures has spent the past eleven months in preparation for positive progress to resume operations. Including their commitment to the health, safety, and well-being of guests and crew. The company has firm dates to sail in Alaska that include their COVID safety framework implemented in 2020 and their new triple test process. This three-test combination is a required PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival in Alaska, a follow-up antigen (rapid) test on check-in with an UnCruise Adventures representative, and a second antigen test upon embarkation. This provides a high degree of certainty that people will not be exposed to Covid-19 while aboard the 22-86 passenger boats.

This new cruise ban comes on the tail of positive news of vaccination availability that has increased guest confidence in travel again,” states company CEO, Dan Blanchard. “If the ban continues, we may be one of the only boats cruising in Alaska this season. This is a great opportunity to educate people about small boat adventure options, but we would have preferred it without an extended cruise ban affecting so many.”

UnCruise Adventures has the ability to operate due to its small boat nature, providing small groups and a small environmental footprint. It does not require port stops and is foregoing visits to small cultural communities during its 2021 sailing season.

This is another strike to those who depend on travel and tourism for their livelihood,” says Blanchard “While other news would have been favorable and this is painful for all of us, including our big brothers in the cruise industry, we understand the Canadian government is working hard to keep its citizens safe.”

Senior Staff Officers Named for Holland America Line's New Ship, Rotterdam
Holland America Line has a history that spans nearly 150 years, and with that comes a depth of talented crew who will be aboard Rotterdam when the ship is delivered in July. The cruise line has appointed Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert, Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot, Chief Engineer Peter Massolt, Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman and Environmental Officer Michael Brown to lead Rotterdam's shipboard teams.

Holland America Line previously announced that Captain Werner Timmers will be at the helm of Rotterdam. The 99,500-ton ship currently is under construction at Fincantieri's shipyard at Marghera, Italy.

"Holland America Line has a solid foundation of exceptional leaders who are seasoned at delivering new ships, and these team members bring years of experience, knowledge and dedication to our brand," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "As we move toward delivery this summer, this team will be tasked with getting the ship ready to welcome guests and ensuring we have a happy complement of crew. We know they're up to the task, and we congratulate them on their appointments."

Meet Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert

Kevin Beirnaert joined Holland America Line in 2006 and worked on Rotterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, where he recently filled in as captain.

Hailing from Gent, Belgium, Beirnaert studied at the Hogere Zeevaart school in Antwerp, Belgium, where he graduated with a degree in masters nautical science. As a cadet and junior officer, he started his career with freight carrier Ecuadorian Line and on dredging ships in Dubai, U.A.E., on the Palm Jumeirah project before joining Holland America Line. He resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fun Fact: If he weren't at sea, he'd be a police officer in Belgium.

Meet Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot

Since joining Holland America Line in 2005, Wessel van Oorschot has worked his way through the ranks of the food and beverage department from assistant maître d' to hotel director. Van Oorschot studied hospitality management at Hotelschool Ter Duinen in Belgium and Baronie College in the Netherlands and started his career at Holland America Line as an intern. Rotterdam will be the fourth new ship he has launched with the company, having previously introduced Nieuw Statendam, Koningsdam and Nieuw Amsterdam.

When not on board, van Oorschot lives in the Philippines with his wife, who is a shipboard doctor with Holland America Line.

Fun Fact: His song request at Billboard Onboard would be "Piano Man" by Billy Joel.

Meet Chief Engineer Peter Massolt

A Dutch native from Drachten in the province of Friesland, Peter Massolt has worked a total of 19 years with Holland America Line, from 1980-87 and then again from 2008 onwards. During his time with the company, he has worked on ss and ms Rotterdam, Ryndam, Prinsendam, Statendam, Veendam, Volendam, Noordam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Nieuw Statendam.

Massolt holds a bachelor's degree in marine engineering from the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz. In his free time, he enjoys restoring Land Rovers, camping and aerobatic flying. He speaks Dutch, English, German and Frisian.

Fun Fact: If he had to swap roles with someone on board, he'd be a Cruise & Travel Director because he is an advocate for learning culture and enjoys the port talks.

Meet Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman

Wim Akkerman joined Holland America Line in 1994 following an apprenticeship on cargo reefer vessels. Raised in the small village of Nederhorst den Berg, the Netherlands, Akkerman went to the Zeevaart maritime college and became a maritime officer, but he chose a technical route.

Fun Fact: His favorite Holland America Line specialty restaurant is Canaletto.

Meet Environmental Officer Michael Brown

A native of Panama where he still resides, Michael Brown joined Holland America Line in 2016. Previously he was a marine engineer in the cruise industry.

Brown graduated from the Universidad Marítima Internacional de Panamá with a bachelor's degree in nautical marine engineering. When not working, he enjoys being with friends and watching movies.

Fun Fact: His ideal shore excursions involve nature, hiking and kayaking.

The third in the Pinnacle Class series, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café. Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with an exclusive collection of world-class performances each night.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam will showcase Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line and the 17th ship constructed for the brand by Italian shipyard Fincantieri.

Following Rotterdam's Premiere Voyage departing Aug. 1, 2021, the ship will spend its inaugural summer season in northern Europe.

Seabourn Looks Ahead To 2022 With Ultra-Luxury Voyages In Europe, Alaska, Canada & New England
Seabourn is looking forward to 2022 by announcing a number of summer and fall voyages, including Europe, Alaska and British Columbia, and Canada and New England. These voyages will provide travelers with the opportunity to rediscover the world while sailing on the line's award-winning, ultra-luxury intimate ships. Itinerary details with more information on the specific destinations for each region will be available on Seabourn's website.

A wide range of itineraries are being offered in each region, including 68 sailings in Europe in summer 2022, with voyages of seven to 14 days, and options to combine voyages to up to 38 days. Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Ovation, Seabourn Quest and Seabourn Sojourn are scheduled to journey the coasts of 'the Continent' with itineraries designed to appeal broadly to highly discerning travelers. The ships will visit a combination of popular cities and hidden gems and destinations accessible only to smaller ships and yachts, as well as 27 European ports the line has not visited in the past five years – or ever before. Noteworthy maiden calls will include Vis and Trogir, Croatia; Esbjerg, Denmark; Plymouth and Portsmouth, England; La Ciotat and Douarnenez, France; Laerdal, Norway; and Ferrol and Puerto Rosario, Fuerteventura, Canarias in Spain.

In addition, the line has scheduled 15 2022 summer sailings aboard Seabourn Odyssey in Alaska and British Columbia, with voyages running seven to 11 days and options to extend up to 14 days. The line will also offer six sailings in late summer and early fall aboard Seabourn Quest in Canada and New England, with voyages from 12 to 14 days.

"For the past year, most of us have been dreaming about traveling again and exploring this magnificent world we live in," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We hope our new 2022 voyages will give luxury travelers something to look forward to and encourage them to make future travel plans. There is no better way to explore Europe, Alaska, and Canada and New England than with Seabourn."

European Itineraries to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe

• Seabourn Sojourn will spend early June 2022 cruising from Athens through the Adriatic to Greek Isles, Albania, Croatia and Malta, then arrive in the Western Mediterranean with a series of seven-day voyages between Barcelona and Rome exploring the French and Italian Rivieras and Spain. The ship will also sail on 10- and 11-day voyages, featuring additional ports including Tangier, Gibraltar and Malta while offering longer combinations. In October, Seabourn Sojourn will linger in Iberia with seven-day Spain and Portugal voyages, finishing with two new seven-day Canary Island voyages between Lisbon and Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, before departing November 6 to reach Miami in 12 days.

• Summer 2022 in Europe for Seabourn Quest will start on May 10 with an 11-day voyage from Barcelona to Venice, where the ship will offer a series of new seven-, 10- and 11-day round-trip voyages from Venice exploring the Adriatic. The Europe season includes a 10-day voyage from Venice to Barcelona, followed by an exceptional 14-day repositioning voyage from Barcelona to Dover taking in stunning Spanish, Portuguese, French and British ports, including eight hours scenic sailing up the Garonne into the heart of Bordeaux for an overnight. On August 5, Seabourn Quest will embark on the Route of the Vikings, arriving in Montreal 24 days later after exploring the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, and the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Quebec, with exciting Ventures by Seabourn offerings along the way.

• Beginning mid-April 2022, Seabourn Encore will set sail from the sun-kissed, perennially popular Eastern Mediterranean, with seven-day voyages of the Greek Isles and Turkish coast providing numerous departures through twin itineraries that invite combinations with Mykonos and Ephesus in one direction, and Santorini and Bodrum in the other. Look for novel seven-day voyages between Athens and Haifa, and round-trip voyages from Athens offering intriguing combination options, as well as a pair of seven-day itineraries into the Adriatic between Athens and Venice with Dubrovnik and Zadar one way, and Sibenik and Kotor the other. In late November, Seabourn Encore will make one last departure from Athens toward Dubai and head back to Southeast Asia.

• Seabourn Ovation will visit charming islands in the Mediterranean starting in late April 2022, sailing from Athens to Monte Carlo with calls at Lipari and Ponza. Beginning late May 2022, the ship will embark on a series of seven-day voyages in the Western Mediterranean from Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome – with seasonal departures through May and June and repeated in October and November – offering inviting combinations of popular itineraries in Spain, France and Italy. Following a 14-day Western Europe voyage from Lisbon to Copenhagen, the ship will spend the summer in Northern Europe with the line's popular seven-day St. Petersburg and Baltic voyages between Copenhagen and Stockholm, as well as 14-day Norway and the North Cape sailings round-trip from Copenhagen. Departing the Danish capital on September 10, Seabourn Ovation will sail to Dover via the Kiel Canal with an overnight in Amsterdam, followed by a 14-day sail round-trip from Dover with ports throughout the British Isles, and then a classic 14-day Vintage Europe cruise from Dover to Barcelona with an overnight at Rouen for Paris. With another round of seven-day Mediterranean voyages lit by the golden beauty of autumn, Seabourn Ovation's time cruising 'the Continent' will conclude with a 14-day European grand finale from Barcelona to Lisbon, connecting Spain, Morocco and the Canary Islands with an overnight in Tenerife. The ship will depart Europe for the Caribbean on November 26 on a 14-day transatlantic to Barbados.

Alaska and British Columbia

• Starting May 27, 2022, Seabourn Odyssey will sail to Alaska and British Columbia during the summer of 2022 with a series of seven-, 10- and 11-day voyages. The ship will offer 11 seven-day voyages between Vancouver and Juneau, as well as four 10- and 11-day round-trip Vancouver voyages. All itineraries will feature optional Ventures by Seabourn excursions featuring kayaking, Zodiac cruising, and hiking outings. In addition, guests will be able to combine seven-day voyages into 14-day round-trip sailings from Vancouver throughout the season.

Canada and New England Itineraries

• Experience voyages inspired by autumnal beauty along the eastern seaboard of North America. Beginning August 29, 2022, Seabourn Quest will begin a series of four 12-day Canada and New England Fall Foliage cruises between Montreal and New York City, with one 12-day Canadian Autumn cruise with heavy Canadian content sailing round-trip from Montreal on September 22. With the season cooling, the ship will head south late October from Montreal on a 14-day Atlantic Coast Harbors cruise to Miami.

Carnival Cruise Line Reveals Additional Details on Italian-Themed La Piazza Zone on New Mardi Gras
On National Pizza Day, Carnival Cruise Line today revealed additional details on La Piazza, a stunning Italian-themed zone on its newest ship, Mardi Gras, set to debut in May.

Inspired by Italy’s unique culture and delicious culinary offerings, La Piazza will be home to a variety of new food and beverage outlets, as well as expanded versions of longtime Carnival favorites.

Designed to resemble a stroll through an Italian courtyard with red brick, street lights and ornate iron and tile work, as well as murals of famous piazzas in Rome, Venice and other Italian cities, La Piazza also features fun, “Insta-worthy” touches like a Vespa scooter and a Fiat – both from 1972, the year of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding with the original Mardi Gras – positioned along the promenade.

New spaces include Bar della Rosa inspired by the country’s charming cafes with classic with classic Italian cocktails such as the Aperol Spritz, Italian wines sourced from regions across the country, Italian beers, as well as espresso and cappuccinos, all made with Lavazza coffee.

There’s also Piazza Panini with hand-pressed sandwiches like Salumeria stuffed with capicola, prosciutto, salami, provolone and roasted peppers, as well as the Peppe featuring mortadella, provolone, mozzarella, tomatoes and spicy olives. A number of deli favorites and desserts are offered as well.

Mardi Gras will feature the largest Cucina del Capitano in the fleet with a menu of Italian favorites and a diverse wine list with selections that include Zonin Soave and Batasiolo Barolo, all enhanced by a décor featuring historical photos, artwork and memorabilia from Carnival’s officers, highlighted by colorful oil paintings of the Mardi Gras and its namesake vessel that established Carnival Cruise Line in 1972.

Pizzeria del Capitano offering five varieties of freshly baked artisanal pizzas by the pie or by the slice available 24 hours a day, has also been expanded just for Mardi Gras. La Piazza’s delicious culinary offerings can be enjoyed inside at tables along the promenade or al fresco on the Lanai.

La Piazza is one of six themed zones on Mardi Gras which also features The French Quarter, Grand Central, The Lido, Summer Landing, and The Ultimate Playground, home to BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea.

The first ship in North America powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), Mardi Gras is scheduled to debut from Port Canaveral, Fla., May 29, 2021, operating week-long itineraries.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.61 + 14.95%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 70.70 + 7.53%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.30 + 9.09%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.01 + 11.65%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Few ocean liners or cruise ships end up preserved like the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Most end up in very different circumstances. Whatever happened to Cunard's famous Caronia of 1948?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Few ocean liners or cruise ships end up preserved like the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Most end up in very different circumstances. Whatever happened to Cunard's famous Caronia of 1948?

Answer - Caronia was sold to Star Shipping in 1968, renamed Columbia. While in Greece for engine repairs was sold to A.Konstaninidis and renamed Caribia. On 2nd cruise out of New York in 1969 suffered engine explosion. Laid up in New York, then sold for scrapping in 1974. Wrecked off Guam amd broken up there.
courtesy of Rob Scafidi


Cruise News - February 1, 2021

Holland America Line Names Rotterdam Master
Holland America Line has named Werner Timmers, a captain with nearly 40 years sailing for the cruise line, to take the helm of Rotterdam when the ship enters service in July 2021. Captain Timmers joined Holland America Line in 1984 and has worked on all classes of ship within the brand, most recently as master of Koningsdam.

Captain Timmers will head to Rotterdam in the coming months for sea trials and then relocate to the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, where the ship is being built, to oversee the finishing touches before delivery.

"As one of the longest-serving officers in our fleet with a wealth of experience, we are pleased to name Captain Timmers master of Rotterdam," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "His years of seamanship and hospitability with both guests and crew will continue to create a culture on board that promotes excellence in service and a passion for travel."

Since first joining Holland America Line in 1984 as an intern, Captain Timmers has worked his way up the ranks to captain, which he achieved in 1996. He has since been master of Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Ryndam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam.

"I am deeply honored to be named the first master of Rotterdam, and I look forward to getting on board for the sea trials and seeing the ship come together during the final stages of construction," said Captain Timmers. "My long career with Holland America Line has been filled with so many wonderful milestones, and this appointment is a highlight."

A native Dutchman, Captain Timmers grew up in Roosendaal, the Netherlands. He chose a career at sea in his final year of high school after hearing a seafarer tell tales of adventure during career day. He joined the Nautical Academy in Vlissingen, the Netherlands, and after graduating with a degree in nautical sciences, he obtained a second degree in marine engineering and rejoined Holland America Line as a fourth officer.

When not onboard a ship, Captain Timmers lives with his wife, Sherron, and their two children in Mount Dora, Florida.

The third in the Pinnacle Class series, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests, measure 99,500 gross tons and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café. Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with an exclusive collection of world-class performances each night — from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam will showcase Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line and the 17th ship constructed for the brand by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently built Nieuw Statendam.

Following Rotterdam's Premiere Voyage departing Aug. 1, 2021, the ship will spend its inaugural summer season in northern Europe. Naming details have not been finalized and will be announced at a later date.

Princess Cruises Launches Sports Betting at Sea
For the first time ever, sports fans will have the opportunity to wager on sports from the comfort of their cruise ship. Princess Cruises today unveiled Ocean Sportsbook, a new, real-time sports wagering option onboard its MedallionClass ships, giving guests the opportunity to bet on major sports competitions like professional* and college football, basketball, baseball and hockey as well as a wide variety of other exciting domestic and international events.

When the ship is in international waters, or wherever permitted by law, guests can use the MedallionClass app to wager on a host of major sports competitions, as well as place prop bets during live events taking place during their cruise. Guests also will have the opportunity to place bets on future competitions that occur well after their voyage.

"On Princess MedallionClass cruises our guests can stay connected with their friends and family around the world, and now with Ocean Sportsbook, they can also stay connected to their favorite teams and wager on a host of events whenever they sail with us," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "Taking a cruise vacation no longer means being disconnected from a big game, an iconic event or friends and family."

With more than $20 billion in wagers placed with U.S. sportsbooks in the past two years, sports betting is experiencing extraordinary growth, and is expected to reach more than $155 billion by 2024.1

Built in partnership with software developer, Miomni, Ocean Sportsbook will be available on all Princess MedallionClass ships upon approval to return to service in 2021. The new sportsbook is part of Ocean Casino – a digital experience that lets wagers be placed beyond the casino – stateroom, poolside, spa, and more – on an assortment of games that include blackjack, slots, poker, roulette, bingo, keno and lottery.

Princess MedallionClass vacations are enabled by the award-winning OceanMedallionTM, a wearable device that elevates the guest experience and delivers a high level of service and personalized attention on a large scale, and also features elite level bandwidth with MedallionNet powered by SES, allowing for enhanced connected experiences like Ocean Sportsbook.

"A fully-connected guest experience now goes well beyond a superior Wi-Fi position, and Ocean Sportsbook reinforces the unparalleled position MedallionClass enjoys in the industry," said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. "Wagering is now seamlessly fused into the overall guest experience in both digital and physical interactions all powered by the OCEAN Guest Experience Platform."

In addition to anywhere wagering, Princess MedallionClass Vacations are also marked by touchless embarkation and disembarkation, frictionless commerce, and keyless stateroom entry. Additional contactless capabilities accessible using smart phones and tablets, include shipboard on-demand service delivery; way-finding; family and friends locator; first-run movies and live TV; an interactive events and activities planner; and interactive fun.

*Due to Carnival Corporation's affiliation with the Miami Heat, bets cannot be place in Ocean Sportsbook on NBA events involving the Heat.

PortMiami And Carnival Cruise Line Break Ground On Terminal F
Carnival Cruise Line and PortMiami today held a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of the state-of-the-art Terminal F which will serve as the homeport of Carnival Celebration, the line's next Excel-class ship.

Currently under construction in Finland, Carnival Celebration is set to debut in 2022, as part of the line's 50th birthday festivities.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Carnival President Christine Duffy, along with county commissioners and construction partners, used ceremonial shovels to officially mark the beginning of construction on the expansive 471,000-square-foot facility which will be Carnival's third terminal at the port and its largest in South Florida.

Carnival Cruise Line got its start when the original "Fun Ship," the TSS Mardi Gras, departed on its inaugural voyage from PortMiami in March 1972, starting a nearly 50-year relationship that has seen Carnival grow to become the World's Most Popular Cruise Line and PortMiami earn the distinction as The Cruise Capital of the World.

"I'm grateful to Carnival Cruise Line and Lemartec for their partnership with Miami-Dade County," said Mayor Levine Cava. "Despite the global pandemic, today's groundbreaking is another example of the growth happening at PortMiami – The Cruise Capital of the World – and how together, we can and we will continue to thrive."

"We are proud of Carnival's role in making Miami the cruise capital of the world, and today marks the continuation of an incredible 50-year partnership with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County. This expanded terminal built specifically for Carnival Celebration will make an incredible addition to the existing facilities at our largest embarkation port. My most sincere thanks to Mayor Levine Cava and all of the Miami-Dade officials who made this day possible," said Duffy.

"Both Lemartec and MasTec, like Carnival Cruise Line, are the classic American dream story, born in Miami. We are proud to have been chosen by PortMiami and Miami-Dade County to build this iconic terminal," said Manny García-Tuñón, President of Lemartec Corporation, a MasTec Company, which is serving as the general contractor.

The terminal's clean and open design by will allow for exceptional efficiency and flexibility to accommodate Carnival's newest class of ships, maximizing use of technology to move guests through the embarkation process, providing a seamless boarding experience.

Carnival Celebration will offer a variety of innovations including an onboard roller coaster as well as a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, part of Carnival Corporation's "green cruising platform." The ship will also offer a wide range of accommodation categories with 180 suites across 11 different categories, along with unique innovations created just for this vessel.

Paul Gauguin Cruises Announces 2022 Voyages
Paul Gauguin Cruises operator of the m/s Paul Gauguin, announces its new 2022 schedule featuring Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji, and South Pacific itineraries.

The Gauguin will be showcasing its most sought-after itineraries in 2022: the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands, 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus, 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands, and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands.

The Gauguin will also be returning to Fiji in 2022, offering 12-night and 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands itineraries. These comprehensive voyages follow in the wake of explorers, encompassing the exquisite Society Islands, home waters of The Gauguin, and the Cook Islands with its unique culture and exquisite lagoons. Other highlights include sailing across the International Date Line, a rare visit to the Kingdom of Tonga, and the paradisiacal Fijian islands. Ports of call on the voyages are Papeete, Tahiti; Moorea, Society Islands; Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands; Aitutaki, Cook Islands; Vava'u, Tonga; Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji; Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji; Beqa Island, Fiji (13-night sailing only); and Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji.

Designed specifically to sail the pristine lagoons of these islands, The Gauguin provides an up-close, authentic experience of the South Seas and offers an elegant yet casual ambiance with luxurious accommodations, exceptional service, gourmet dining, trademark Polynesian hospitality, private beach retreats, and extraordinary all-inclusive value.

To launch its 2022 voyages, Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering savings of 30% off standard cruise fares on all voyages, plus included airfare from Los Angeles.

Paul Gauguin Cruises' top priority has always been to ensure the safety and comfort of its passengers. The health protocols developed by Paul Gauguin Cruises and PONANT exceeds international regulations. The Sail with Confidence booking policy is an extra effort to ensure travelers feel confident booking a well-deserved cruise vacation now without worry should they need to cancel.

Seabourn Previews "Spa & Wellness" on Board New Expedition Ships
Seabourn is building expectations for wellness, pampering and relaxation with the release of details and imagery of Spa & Wellness aboard the line's new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships. Occupying a space all its own on Deck 7, Spa & Wellness has been designed by Adam. D. Tihany and will offer many opportunities for guests to enhance their expedition with physical, social, environmental and spiritual wellbeing through its onboard Mindful Living Program: Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil.

"Spa & Wellness is sure to be a standout space for our guests to embrace feelings of wellbeing in the midst of adventure on expeditions to the wonders of the world on our expedition ships," noted Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Over the past year, wellness has grown in importance in many people's personal lives, and our highly-trained staff will be devoted to providing a robust series of mind and body programs and rejuvenating treatments developed in collaboration with Dr. Weil to ensure travelers can relax, reconnect, and recharge during their time on board."

As conceived by Tihany, who is fashioning the design of interior and exterior guest areas throughout the ships, Spa & Wellness is at once sleek, serene, and inviting. The 3,700-square-foot space integrates the concept of a contemporary 'floating forest,' with details including a textured tree-inspired art mural, light wood-and-bronze material palette, and live wood features to usher guests into the reception area. Striking natural stone flooring plays off muted sage and orange accent colors found throughout the spa, while the branches of the 'floating forest' spread like delicate fingers into four tranquil treatment rooms, each arrayed with neutral, textured wall coverings, light wood, and bronze accents.

Tihany's design touches continue into the spa's yoga and fitness areas, both of which feature an open wall of windows for guests to soak up floor-to-ceiling views of the sparkling seas and coastal panoramas gliding by outside. The spa's sauna will also offer floor-to-ceiling windows, a new design amenity for Seabourn and unique to the expedition ships.

Integral to the Spa & Wellness experience on board will be the popular Mindful Living Program, developed by Dr. Andrew Weil and currently available across the Seabourn fleet. Led by a specially trained Mindful Living Coach, the program will comprise a holistic mind-and-body approach to wellbeing, offering complimentary yoga and guided meditation sessions, as well as illuminating seminars on topics ranging from integrative medicine to nutrition, pain management to creative aging, and more.

Skilled therapists will offer massage for the face and body, as well as detox, cleansing and wrap services. The fitness center within the spa will be outfitted with a range of cardio and strength equipment, with a Fitness Director on hand to offer spot-on assessments and train guests in various fitness regimes. A full-service salon will also be part of the scene, with hair styling, facials, manicures and pedicures available for women and men.

Seabourn Venture is scheduled to launch in December 2021, with the second yet-to-be-named sister ship slated to launch in 2022. Seabourn Venture will sail on a series of 10- to 14-day Norwegian Winter voyages during her inaugural season between December 2021 and April 2022. The itineraries, fares and additional details can be found here.

Both ships will be designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include a plethora of modern hardware and technology that will extend the ships global deployment and capabilities. A new and exciting offering will be two custom-built submarines carried onboard, providing an unforgettable view of the world beneath the ocean's surface. The ships will also be designed to carry expedition kayaks and 24 Zodiacs that can accommodate all onboard guests at once, which will allow for a truly immersive experience. Both expedition vessels will feature an onboard crew that will include outstanding and well-traveled expedition teams comprised of highly regarded wilderness experts, scientists, historians and naturalists. These fascinating, accomplished experts are also part of the Seabourn Conversations program, providing in-depth insights into the history, ecology, and culture of the places they visit. Each ship will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront suites with furnished verandas.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.80 - 2.19%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 65.75 - 3.90%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.275 + 1.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 22.40 - 6.55%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Few ocean liners or cruise ships end up preserved like the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Most end up in very different circumstances. Whatever happened to Cunard's famous Caronia of 1948?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the last cruise ship to sail the Haifa to New York route for Israel's Zim lines

Answer - The last Zim ship to sail from Haifa to NYC was the Shalom, which was most recently laid up as Regent Sun.
courtesy of Jonas Ekstam, Stockholm, Sweden


Cruise News - January 25, 2021

Princess Cruises Announces Sale of Pacific Princess to Sycamore Partners/Azamara
Princess Cruises today announced the sale of Pacific Princess to Sycamore Partners. The sale of the cruise ship is in line with parent company Carnival Corporation's plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet.

Sycamore Partners is in the process of acquiring Azamara and the former Pacific Princess will join the Azamara fleet as a fourth ship. "This addition, pending the close of the transaction announced earlier this month that Sycamore Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Azamara, marks our new future of growth as well as new opportunities to reach more destinations and communities than ever before," said Carol Cabezas, Chief Operating Officer, Azamara, in a statement.

"Sycamore Partners has purchased the Pacific Princess, a former R-class ship comparable in size to our three sister ships. Just like Azamara Journey, Azamara Quest, and Azamara Pursuit, our newest addition will be able to sail into intimate rivers, visit smaller, as well as less-crowded ports other vessels can’t access," she said.

Pacific Princess first joined the cruise line's fleet in 2002, and originally entered service in 1999 as R3 for Renaissance Cruises. The boutique-style ship offered an intimate cruising environment, with a total of just 670 passengers, but incorporated many of the dining and entertainment options available on the cruise line's larger cruise vessels.

Beloved by many loyal Princess guests, Pacific Princess sailed more than 1.6 Million nautical miles, 11 World Cruises and offered distinctive itineraries to sought-after destinations all over the world. In fact, The Love Boat's "Captain Stubing" and Princess Cruises Ambassador Gavin MacLeod was on the ship's navigation bridge as the ship sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time to kick off the inaugural season sailing to Alaska from San Francisco in May 2003.

"Pacific Princess holds so many memories and cherished experiences to all who sailed upon her," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Pacific Princess offered a traditional style of cruising to unique destinations. While it's difficult to say goodbye to our 'Love Boat,' our World Cruise and exotic itineraries continue onboard our Medallion Class-enabled Island Princess and Coral Princess, featuring the best Wi-Fi at sea, allowing guests to keep in touch with loved ones and share vacation memories along the way."

Another historic moment for Pacific Princess was sailing a throwback cruise, recreating the cruise line's very first itinerary to the iconic Mexican Riviera in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Princess Cruises on December 3, 2015. Attending this special cruise included the cast of "The Love Boat," - Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Fred Grandy (Gopher, the chief purser), Ted Lange (Isaac, the bartender), Bernie Kopell (Doc, the ship's doctor), Lauren Tewes (cruise director, Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki, the captain's daughter). Together with the guests, they celebrated the role the show played in Princess Cruises' five-decade-long history introducing the cruise line – and cruise vacations – to millions of people around the world.

Guests with bookings will be notified, and along with their travel advisors, will receive information on how to book another Princess Cruise when operations resume. Guests who prefer a refund will be accommodated.

Costa Resumes Its Cruise Program In Italy From March 13 With Costa Smeralda
Following a careful evaluation of the measures contained in the Italian government decree currently in force in Italy, Costa Crociere has decided to postpone the restart of its ships to March 13, 2021.

The company believes that the current set of restrictive measures does not allow its guests to enjoy an adequate on-shore experience and the ability to fully explore the itinerary's destinations.

Costa Cruises supports the collective effort that Italy is making to deal with the health emergency and looks forward to mid-March for its return to offering its guests a relaxing and enjoyable vacation experience.

Costa will resume operations on March 13 with Costa Smeralda, which will sail guests to some of Italy's most beautiful destinations with 3- and 4-day mini-cruises, or a 7-day cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.

All cruises originally scheduled on Costa Deliziosa, Costa Firenze and Costa Luminosa between February 1 and March 12, 2021, are cancelled. The new programs for these three ships will be announced shortly. Costa is in the process of informing travel agencies and guests affected by the changes.

Carnival Cruise Line Notifies Guests Of Cruise Cancellation Through April 2021
Carnival Cruise Line is notifying guests of additional cruise cancellations, extending its pause in U.S. departures through April 30, 2021, and cancelling Australian operations through May 19, 2021.

In addition, Carnival has cancelled the European itineraries for Carnival Legend which were to begin this May through Oct. 31, 2021, and moved the start date for Mardi Gras from Port Canaveral, with the first cruise now set for May 29, 2021.

Booked guests and travel agents are being notified directly of the cancellations and their options for a generous future cruise credit and onboard credit package, or a full refund.

"Our guests and travel agent partners continue to express their loyalty to Carnival and their desire to get back on our ships as soon as they can, and we are heartened by the booking demand and activity we continue to see. We are certainly committed to welcoming them back as quickly as possible, but unfortunately we have determined it's going to take a while longer, and the situation in Europe will also impact Mardi Gras' departure to the U.S., and Carnival Legend's itineraries in Europe," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Cruise Line Releases Additional Plans On Fleet Deployment
Carnival Cruise Line today released plans for additional ship deployments as it continues to refine its phased in approach to a return to guest operations for 2021, resulting in some ship-specific cruise cancellations and movements. Those plans include:

• Related to already-announced dry dock plans for Carnival Magic, Carnival Paradise and Carnival Valor, those ships' return to operations will be delayed until November 2021. Consequently, voyages on Carnival Magic from Norfolk (embarkations from Sept. 29-Oct. 30), Carnival Paradise from Tampa (embarkations from June 5-Oct. 28) and Carnival Valor from New Orleans (embarkations from Sept. 16-Oct. 28) have been cancelled.

• Carnival Miracle's planned seasonal service from San Diego has been suspended until further notice, and sailings out of San Diego that were available for sale through April 2023 have been cancelled, with the exception of seven voyages to Hawaii, which will move to Long Beach.

• Carnival Radiance's dry dock and transformation has been moved to September, with a planned arrival to Long Beach in November 2021.

• With Carnival Miracle's reposition to Long Beach, the ship will assume the three- and four-day itineraries for Carnival Radiance from May 3-Nov. 1, 2021 as well as the seven Hawaii Carnival Journeys referenced above. In addition, Carnival Miracle will launch a new program of four- and five-day cruises to Mexico during the winter season, beginning November 2021 and continuing through April 2023.

Carnival is advising guests and travel agents of these changes. Where possible, West Coast guests are being accommodated in a transfer to Carnival Miracle (from Carnival Radiance), or the retention of their Hawaiian itinerary via a Long Beach embarkation instead. With this change, Carnival will eventually run a three-ship operation from its port facility at Long Beach: Carnival Panorama sailing seven-day Mexican Riviera itineraries and Carnival Radiance operating three- and four-day itineraries year-round, with Carnival Miracle operating four- and five-day Mexico and 14-day Hawaii itineraries during the winter.

"Like so much about this current global situation, we are adapting our plans as circumstances evolve and we are able to confirm alternatives. We are disappointed that our return to seasonal ports like Norfolk and San Diego has been impacted and appreciate the support of those port partners and communities. The support of our guests, travel agents, ports and business partners has truly been overwhelming as we work through this situation," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Holland America Line Announces Bucket List Grand World Voyages
Holland America Line's Grand Voyages are made for dreamers, adventurers and explorers seeking to discover new cultures and illuminating experiences. The quest for destination immersion continues with Holland America Line's 2022 Grand Africa Voyage, 2023 Grand World Voyage and 2023 Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage.

A Holland America Line Grand Voyage is the pinnacle of cruising. Ranging from 71 to 127 days, these longer journeys take travelers to the far corners of the world across six continents, all roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, without the need for international air travel. Memorable experiences highlight each cruise — from a visit to Antarctica's otherworldly landscapes to spying Africa's "Big Five" on safari.

2022 Grand Africa Voyage Highlights
Africa is a continent of riches, from the rolling grasslands of the savanna to the pristine beaches of the Seychelles. Travelers on the Grand Africa Voyage are in for an experience unlike any other, and with Holland America Line at the helm it will be a memorable journey — guaranteed.

• 71 days. Departs Oct. 10, 2022, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale aboard Zaandam on a clockwise navigation around the continent.

• 4 overnight calls: Aqaba, Jordan; Cape Town, South Africa (two nights); Zanzibar, Tanzania; and Victoria, Seychelles.

• 25 ports in 21 countries and territories, in the order of calls: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Seychelles, Tanzania, Mayotte, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Puerto Rico.

• A memorable daylight transit of the Suez Canal en route to Aqaba, Jordan, for the opportunity to travel to the Lost City of Petra.

• Safari and wildlife opportunities include Serengeti National Park, Maasi Mara Reserve, Ngorongoro Crater, Tsavo National Park, Jozani Forest Reserve, Lokobe National Park, the Black Lemur Sanctuary, Kruger National Park, Phinda Mountain Lodge and Thanda Private Game Reserve.

• Two days at Cape Town, South Africa, to explore Table Mountain, Nelson Mandela's prison cell, Chapman's Peak Drive, Kulala Desert Lodge and more.

2023 Grand World Voyage Highlights
There's no better way to see the world than on a Holland America Line Grand World Voyage, recognized as the 2020 Travel Weekly Readers' Choice for Best World Cruise Itinerary and 2020 TravelAge West Editor's Pick for Best World Cruise. More ports, longer stays, immersive overnights ashore.

• 127 days. Departing Jan. 3, 2023, aboard Zaandam roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on an itinerary that circles the globe on a westwardly route.

• Zaandam crosses the South Pacific to New Zealand and Australia before sailing up the west coast of Africa and charting a path through Northern Europe.

• 61 ports in 30 countries and island nations: Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Panama, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Mauritius, Réunion, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, France, England, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Scotland and Ireland.

• 8 overnight calls: Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama; Papeete, Tahiti; Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth), Australia; Cape Town, South Africa; and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

• 20 calls around the African continent with numerous opportunities for overland safari experiences.

2023 Grand South America & Antarctica Highlights
South America is a land of contrasts. In the north, lush rain forest canopies reach as far as the eye can see, while in the south snow-capped mountains make for a stunning backdrop to the ultimate circumnavigation of the continent.

• 74 days. Departing Jan. 3, 2023, aboard Volendam roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on an itinerary that circles the continent on a counterclockwise route.

• 34 ports in 16 countries and island nations across two continents: Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Antarctica, Falkland Islands, Uruguay, Brazil, French Guiana, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bahamas.

• 5 overnight calls: Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama; Manaus and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina (two nights); Callao (Lima), Peru (two nights).

• Daylight transit of the Panama Canal and overland opportunities to visit Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, Patagonia and Iguazu Falls.

• Four days of spectacular scenic cruising in the icescapes of Antarctica.

• Additional scenic cruising includes the Chilean Fjords, Strait of Magellan, Amalia or Brujo Glacier, Cockburn and Beagle channels, Glacier Alley and Cape Horn.

• 12 calls in Brazil and a journey along the Amazon River to Manaus.

A Grand Onboard Experience
On a Grand Voyage, evening shipboard activities shine with local cultural entertainment and special guest headliners. Festive gala balls and formal nights create memorable moments, along with an exclusive Captain's Grand Voyage Dinner for full-cruise guests. Dining is elevated to a new level on each Grand Voyage with menus that change daily and are seldom repeated, featuring local ingredients and regional cuisine.

Viking Announces New Nile River Ship For 2022
Viking today announced an expansion of its Egypt fleet with Viking Aton, a new state-of-the-art river vessel. Inspired by the design of the award-winning Viking Longships and built specifically to navigate the Nile River, Viking Aton is currently under construction and is scheduled to debut in September 2022. Sailing on Viking's popular Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, the new vessel will join Viking's existing Egypt river fleet, which includes its identical sister ship Viking Osiris and Viking's first owned and operated ship on the Nile, Viking Ra.

"Egypt remains a top destination for many of our guests who are inspired to discover the rich history and beauty of the region," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We will always maintain our commitment to creating meaningful experiences that are focused on the destination. The addition of Viking Aton is a reflection of our continued investment in Egypt; we look forward to introducing the country's cultural treasures to even more Viking guests in the future."

Viking Aton

Hosting 82 guests in 41 staterooms, Viking Aton will be a state-of-the-art ship with the clean, elegant Scandinavian design for which Viking is known. Viking Aton's features include all outside staterooms with river views; spacious suites with two full-size rooms and verandas; a pool and sun deck with 360-degree views; Viking Lounge with floor-to-ceiling glass doors; and Viking's revolutionary Aquavit Terrace ideal for al fresco dining and indoor/outdoor viewing along the Nile River. Viking Aton will join the company's other ships on the Nile, Viking Osiris, which is set to launch in 2021, and Viking Ra, which launched in 2018. Viking is the first and only Western company to build, own and operate ships on the Nile.

Pharaohs & Pyramids

During the 12-day, Pharaohs & Pyramids cruisetour itinerary, guests begin with a three-night stay at a first-class hotel in Cairo, where guests can visit iconic sites such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the necropolis of Sakkara and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Guests then fly to Luxor, where they visit the Temples of Luxor and Karnak before boarding a Viking river ship for an eight-day roundtrip cruise on the Nile River, featuring Privileged Access to the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, and excursions to the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, the temples at Abu Simbel and the High Dam in Aswan, and a visit to a colorful Nubian village, where guests can experience a traditional elementary school. Finally, the journey concludes with a flight back to Cairo for a final night in the ancient city.

For guests looking to extend their journey, Viking also offers Pre and Post-Cruise Extensions that provide Privileged Access to archives and exhibits. Building on the success of the Oxford & Highclere Castle program – one of Viking's highest-rated Pre/Post Extension that visits the filming location of "Downton Abbey" – the company has applied the same degree of Privileged Access to a new curated Pre-Cruise Extensions that allows guests to retrace the steps of the world's most famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Guests on the five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt extension will begin the journey in London, where they will meet their Viking Tour Director, an expert Egyptologist, and experience Privileged Access to two museums: first a private, early morning visit to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum before it opens to the general public – and then a visit to the home and personal museum of world-renowned architect, Sir John Soane, where the tour will be illuminated by candlelight, a re-enactment of how Soane entertained guests and showcased his exquisite collection of Egyptian antiquities, including a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus. Guests will also visit London's Petrie Museum, which houses more than 80,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt and Sudan. In Oxford, guests will visit the Ashmolean Museum, one of the oldest in the world, and home to a varied collection of Egyptian mummies and art – and go behind the scenes at Oxford University's Griffith Institute, where they will enjoy a Privileged Access visit to see Carter's archives, which detail the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. Lastly, guests will have further Privileged Access with an exclusive visit to Highclere Castle – the country seat of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon – to view the Earl's magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts, as well as archives and exhibits not normally accessible to the public.

Additional offerings include a Pre-Cruise Extension in Jerusalem where guests will explore the ancient history and vibrant culture of Israel's fascinating capital and a Post-Cruise Extension to Jordan – Petra, Dead Sea & Amman to view Roman antiquities at Jerash, Crusader-era castles at Kerak or Shobak and experience the lost city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.22 - 7.55%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 68.42 - 6.17%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.270 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 23.97 - 5.56%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the last cruise ship to sail the Haifa to New York route for Israel's Zim lines

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Back in the 1970's, Holland America's Rotterdam sailed on a popular, warm weather itinerary from New York City. What was the name of this "run" and what ports did she visit?

Answer - That's the old "Bermuda Triangle" Run that the Rotterdam used to make, with great success a few decades back! From New York she visited Bermuda and the Bahamas.
courtesy of Robert Johnson, Washington DC


Cruise News - January 18, 2021

Royal Caribbean Selling Azamara
Royal Caribbean Group today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Azamara brand to Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm specializing in consumer, retail and distribution investments, in an all-cash carve-out transaction for $201 million, subject to certain adjustments and closing conditions. Sycamore Partners will acquire the entire Azamara brand, including its three-ship fleet and associated intellectual property. The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

Royal Caribbean Group noted the transaction allows it to focus on expanding its Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea brands.

"Our strategy has evolved into placing more of our resources behind three global brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea, and working to grow them as we emerge from this unprecedented period," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Group. "Even so, Azamara remains a strong brand with its own tremendous potential for growth, and Sycamore's track record demonstrates that they will be good stewards of what the Azamara team has built over the past 13 years."

"We are pleased that Royal Caribbean Group has entrusted Sycamore to support Azamara in its next phase of growth," said Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. "We are excited to partner with the Azamara team and build on their many years of success serving the brand's loyal customers. We believe Azamara will remain a top choice for discerning travelers as the cruising industry recovers over time."

Azamara's value proposition and operations will remain consistent under the new arrangement, and Royal Caribbean Group will work in close collaboration on a seamless transition for Azamara employees, customers and other stakeholders. In conjunction with the transaction, Azamara Chief Operating Officer Carol Cabezas has been appointed President of the brand.

The transaction will result in a one-time, non-cash impairment charge of approximately $170 million. The sale of Azamara is not expected to have a material impact on Royal Caribbean Group's future financial results.

Perella Weinberg Partners LP served as financial advisor to Royal Caribbean Group and?Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP?provided legal counsel. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal advice to Sycamore Partners.

Costa Cruises Celebrates Float-Out Ceremony For Costa Toscana
Costa Cruises today celebrated the float-out ceremony of the new flagship Costa Toscana at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland.

Costa Toscana, as her sister ship Costa Smeralda, is powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the marine industry's most advanced fuel technology currently available for reducing emissions, both at sea and during port calls. Costa Group, which includes Costa Cruises, Germany-based AIDA Cruises and Costa Asia, was the first in the cruise industry worldwide to introduce this technology, having ordered five new LNG-powered ships, two of which, Costa Smeralda and AIDAnova, have already entered service. They are part of an expansion plan that includes seven new ships to be delivered to Costa Group by 2023, for a total investment of more than six billion euros.

During the float-out ceremony, Costa Toscana officially touched the sea for the first time, with the flooding of the basin where she has been built in recent months. She will enter service in December 2021, once the interior fittings have been completed.

Mario Zanetti, chief commercial officer of Costa Cruises and president of Costa Group Asia, commented: "Despite the current challenging scenario, Costa Group is confirming its investment in fleet expansion. We are confident in the recovery of our industry, and we are excited about the arrival of new ships like Costa Toscana, which embodies the elements we want to focus on for the future. First of all, it is an excellent and innovative ship, attractive for new customers, which is going to be fundamental, especially when people will be able to freely travel again and will have a great desire for holidays. Looking beyond the pandemic, the second element we are focusing on is to complete the transformation of our fleet and operations into a sustainable model. In addition to LNG technology, we are developing other innovative solutions, such as shore power and batteries, as we continue to work towards achieving zero emissions over time."

"The float-out is always a very special occasion for us shipbuilders, as the ship is finally set to her natural environment. As this is also the start of the final stage of shipbuilding, all the exciting colors, venues and features will start taking their final form. In the coming months she will be finalized at the pier and then tested and commissioned in the autumn for delivery," CEO of Meyer Turku, Tim Meyer, said.

Costa Toscana has been designed to be a traveling "smart city," where sustainable solutions and circular economy concepts are applied to reduce environmental impact. Thanks to the use of LNG, it will be possible to virtually eliminate emissions of sulfur dioxide (zero emissions) and particulate matter into the atmosphere (95-100% reduction), while also significantly lowering emissions of nitrogen oxides (direct reduction of 85%) and CO2 (up to 20%). On board, special desalinisation plants will process seawater directly to meet daily water supply requirements, and energy consumption will be reduced to a minimum thanks to an intelligent energy efficiency system. In addition, 100% separate collection and recycling of materials such as plastic, paper, glass and aluminum will be carried out on board, as part of an integrated approach aimed at supporting circular economy projects.

The new flagship is a tribute to Tuscany, the result of an extraordinarily creative project, curated by Adam D. Tihany, designed to enhance and bring to life in a single location reflecting the best of this wonderful Italian region, which gives its name to the ship, its decks and main public areas.

Tihany has worked with an international pool of prestigious architectural firms – Dordoni Architetti, Jeffrey Beers International and Partner Ship Design – to design the different areas of the ship. All the furnishings, lighting, fabrics and accessories are made in Italy, whether standard produced or designed specifically for the new flagship by 15 partners who are highly representative of Italian excellence.

The facilities on board will fit perfectly into this extraordinary setting: from the Solemio Spa to the areas dedicated to entertainment; from the themed bars, in collaboration with major Italian brands, to the 16 restaurants and areas dedicated to the "food experience," including the restaurant dedicated to families with children, and the LAB Restaurant, where you can try your cooking skills under the guidance of Costa's chefs.

The "heart" of the new flagship will be the "Colosseo," a space in the centre of the ship spread over three decks, dedicated to the best shows. The big screens, positioned both on the walls and on the dome, offer the possibility of creating a different story in every port of call and in every moment of the holiday.

Also not to be missed is the large stairway on three decks facing astern: the ideal place for entertaining guests, both young and old, with an open-air balcony on the top deck featuring a crystal floor that lets you experience the thrill of "flying" over the sea.

To relax and enjoy the sun there will be four swimming pools, one of which will be indoors with salt water, with a new beach club, which will recreate the atmosphere of a real bathing establishment.

Comfortable and elegant, the more than 2,600 cabins on board perfectly reflect Italian style and taste. The "Sea Terrace" cabins will offer a beautiful veranda where you can have breakfast, sip an aperitif or simply enjoy the view.

Costa Toscana will make its debut in Brazil in the 2021-22 season. In particular, the inaugural New Year's Eve cruise will depart from Santos on Dec. 26, 2021, with a week-long itinerary visiting Salvador and Ilhéus, and returning to Santos on Jan. 2, 2022. From Jan. 2 to April 10, 2022, Costa Toscana will offer another 15 cruises with the same itinerary, embarking in Santos and Salvador. The 15 cruises also include the Carnival and Easter departures, which will be the ship's last cruise before the Brazil-Italy crossing, departing from Santos on April 17, 2022.

Royal Caribbean Launches New Adventures From Barbados
Royal Caribbean International will for the first time call Barbados "home" next winter, offering travelers fresh ways to experience the southern Caribbean on Grandeur of the Seas. Three distinct 7- and 14-night itineraries will each feature a unique lineup of bucket-list destinations – including three new ports of call in the islands of Tobago, Trinidad and St. Vincent. Showcasing the natural beauty and cultures of the region, weeklong sailings will island hop to a different destination every day or offer late-night stays in the famed ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. Grandeur's longer escapes will tout an overnight stay in Aruba coupled with visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, among others.

"We are excited to grow our longstanding partnership with Barbados and introduce Bridgetown as Royal Caribbean's newest home port. Sailing from the heart of the Windward Islands unlocks new memorable vacations to share with family and friends in breathtaking places, such as Grenada, St. Lucia, and now St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "The pink-sand beaches and unexpected adventures across Barbados also make it an ideal destination for our guests to experience even more of the Caribbean charm and culture before or after their cruise."

"After the year the industry and region have had, this is a shining light to look forward to this coming winter season. We have wanted to see for some time more homeporting operations from Barbados, the incorporation of pre- and post-stay vacations which expose cruisers to the best Barbados has to offer and at a regional level, the development of new itineraries that elevates the cruise experience throughout the Caribbean," said Senator the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport for Barbados. "So, we are extremely pleased to extend the welcome mat for Grandeur of the Seas to Barbados. We are looking forward to displaying our Bajan hospitality, wide range of accommodations, rich culture, diversity of experiences, world class cuisine, unique attractions, and especially want to share the warmth of the Barbadian people. These are the things that keep visitors coming back for more!"

Barbados is known for its rich history and celebrated for its kind and hospitable people – a defining Bajan trait passed on for almost 400 years and still strong today. Adventure-seekers looking to discover the Bajan island vibe will have diverse experiences to choose from across the country's 11 parishes – a mix of coastal, rural and urban neighborhoods, some sophisticated and luxurious, others immersive and based in nature. Spanning 166 square miles between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, the island affectionately known as "Little England" is chock-full of natural and cultural heritage to satisfy wanderlust of all types.

Royal Caribbean's new 2021-22 winter cruises from Bridgetown, Barbados open for sale today. The itineraries depart on Sundays and ports of call for each are:

• 7-night Southern Caribbean Island Hop: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting Scarborough, Tobago (new); Port of Spain, Trinidad (new); St. George's, Grenada; Kingstown, St. Vincent (new); Roseau, Dominica; and Castries, St. Lucia

• 7-night Southern Caribbean Adventure: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting St. George's, Grenada; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; and Port of Spain, Trinidad (new)

• 14-night Ultimate Caribbean: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting St. George's, Grenada; Kingstown, St. Vincent (new); Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba (overnight); Willemstad, Curacao; Port of Spain, Trinidad (new); Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

Royal Caribbean's inaugural season sailing from Barbados adds even more variety to the cruise line's current 2021-22 winter season. New departure ports and destinations will bring a breadth of fresh experiences for travelers to make the most of their highly anticipated vacations.

Oceania Cruises Releases 180-Day 2023 World Voyage
Today, Oceania Cruises, the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, unveiled its 2023 Around The World in 180 Days voyage which opens for public sale on January 27th.

Departing San Francisco on January 15, 2023, world travelers sailing on this voyage aboard the 684-guest Insignia will experience 96 fascinating destinations in 33 countries across four continents. Guests will have myriad in-depth and immersive experiences with multi-day stays in 20 ports of call from South America to Africa to Asia and Alaska as well as the unprecedented opportunity to witness the splendor of Antarctica first-hand with three full days cruising in Admiralty Bay, Paradise Bay, and Half Moon Island.

"We now know how irreplaceable these experiences are and cherish the privilege of travel more than ever," stated Bob Binder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceania Cruises. "Travel connects us through shared experiences, creates lifelong bonds, and enriches us in ways we never would have imagined. That was the mindset that guided us in crafting this epic around the world voyage for our guests."

The itinerary provides access to more than 60 UNESCO World Heritage sites and guests sailing the full world voyage will have the opportunity to take part infive included shoreside events.

• An Argentinian Cultural Exposition in Buenos Aires including an equestrian show and tango lessons, fine food and wine, capped off by a grand display of music and dance.

• An afternoon at the renowned Boschendal Winery in Cape Town with an elaborate farmer's market featuring exquisite cuisine, Boschendal's acclaimed wines and live music.

• An evening at Al Maha Desert Dune in the Arabian Desert outside of Dubai where guests take part in the ultimate Bedouin experience featuring tribal music and dance, a private falcon show and an amazing dinner under the stars catered by the famed Al Maha Luxury Resort and Spa.

• A Burmese Monk Donation Ceremony in Yangon, Myanmar. Duringhis once-in-a-lifetime experience guests have the privilege to witness one of the most sacred rituals of Buddhism – the Donation Ceremony, where we will make a special contribution in support of more than 200 robed monks present along with more than 100 villagers. After the ceremony, guests will enjoy an elaborate spread of canapes and refreshments accompanied by traditional music and dance.

• A candlelit evening at Vung Duc Cave in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay outside of Hanoi. The evening starts off with a captivating welcome Dragon Dance followed by an ethereal candlelit dinner show featuring local entertainers and music. Guests will be treated to an elaborate feast of local delicacies accompanied by specially selected wine pairings.

Voyage Highlights

• Continents visited: 4

• Countries visited: 33

• Time zones crossed: 24

• Islands visited: 27

• Ports visited: 96

• UNESCO World Heritage sites accessible: 61

• Overnight stays (including two-night stays): 20

• Oceans cruised: 3

• Seas cruised: 14

• Number of times equator crossed: 4

• Largest population: Tokyo, Japan

• Smallest population: Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

All guests on the Around the World in 180 Days voyage will receive their choice of 64 FREE shore excursions, or a FREE beverage package, or a FREE $6,400 shipboard credit.

In addition to the extraordinary value of the inclusions listed above, all guests will receive Oceania Cruises' Exclusive Prestige Package which includes:

• Free first-class roundtrip airfare from more than two dozen select North American air gateways

• Free pre-paid gratuities – a value up to $8,200

• Free onboard medical care

• Free unlimited internet

• Free laundry services

• Free exclusive shoreside events

• Free visa package

• Free luggage delivery for guests from the U.S. and Canada

• Free 1-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in the port of embarkation

• Free roundtrip transfers for all guests and for residents within 50 miles from the cruise departure port

Savor the Experience and Sail Longer

For guests who wish to extend their travels, Oceania Cruises offers travelers the ability to extend their Around The World experience up to a total of 218 days.

January 15, 2023 – 180 Days – San Francisco to San Francisco

January 15, 2023 – 200 Days – San Francisco to New York

December 28, 2022 – 198 Days – Miami to San Francisco

December 28, 2022 – 214 Days – Miami to Miami

December 28, 2022 – 218 Days – Miami to New York

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.79 + 3.23%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 72.92 + 1.11%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.270 + 1.89%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.38 + 5.14%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Back in the 1970's, Holland America's Rotterdam sailed on a popular, warm weather itinerary from New York City. What was the name of this "run" and what ports did she visit?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which classic liner included among her amenities: 20 dog kennels - each carpeted with running water - and a replica New York City fire hydrant for her canine passengers?

Answer - The classic liner that included among her amenities 20 dog kennels and a replica New York City fire hydrant was the France of 1962.
courtesy of Mike Schaeffer


Cruise News - January 11, 2021

First Steel Cut for New Carnival Celebration
The maritime tradition to mark the first steel cut for a new ship took place for Carnival Celebration at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, as Carnival Cruise Line prepares for its next Excel-class ship that will debut next year.

A sister ship to the highly anticipated Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration is scheduled to begin sailing from PortMiami in November 2022, part of Carnival Cruise Line’s year-long 50th birthday festivities.

Following the ceremony – which was attended by Carnival’s Senior Vice President of New Builds Ben Clement and Meyer Turku’s CEO Tim Meyer – work officially began on Carnival Celebration’s innovative offerings, many of which have made Mardi Gras one of the most anticipated ships in cruising. Like Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration will also include BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, along with unique design features created specifically for this vessel, and new signature venues that will be specific to this ship.

“The steel-cutting ceremony marks the beginning of yet another exciting chapter for Carnival Cruise Line. Not only will Carnival Celebration feature signature amenities from Mardi Gras but usher in a new era for Carnival Cruise Line with some special innovations created just for her that we’re sure our guests will enjoy,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We’re equally excited about Carnival Celebration’s role in our 50th birthday festivities which will serve as an unforgettable way for our fans to mark this exciting milestone in our company’s history.”

Carnival Celebration is scheduled to debut in November 2022 and will offer year-round service from PortMiami’s new Terminal F being constructed specifically for Carnival Cruise Line. The addition of Carnival Celebration to Miami will maintain PortMiami’s position as the top embarkation port for Carnival Cruise Line.

Royal Caribbean Extends Suspension Of Cruising
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) continues to focus on the healthy and safe return to cruising for guests, crew and the communities we visit. As we work closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government authorities around the world toward this shared goal, we are extending the suspension of certain sailings for our cruise lines.

The following schedule reflects adjustments to our upcoming 2021 itineraries.

Royal Caribbean International:

• Suspending sailings through April 30, including Spectrum of the Seas from Feb. 16 through Feb. 28

• Excluding Quantum of the Seas

Celebrity Cruises:

• Suspending sailings through April 30, including the May 1 transatlantic cruise on Celebrity Apex

• May through Oct. 2021 Europe and transatlantic cruises on Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Constellation will also be suspended

Silversea Cruises:

• Suspending through April 1

Azamara:

• Suspending sailings through April 30

Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas resumed sailing in Singapore last month with the local government’s CruiseSafe Certification. The certification confirms the three- and four-night Ocean Getaways meet the comprehensive health and safety requirements developed by the Singapore government.

Royal Caribbean Group continues to work with our Healthy Sail Panel of globally recognized scientific and medical experts to come back stronger, and we look forward to welcoming our guests back on board.

AIDA Cruises Extends Pause Of Its Cruise Season Until End Of February 2021
The extension of the lockdown in Germany until at least Jan. 31, 2021, and a further tightening of the measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the restriction of the radius of movement in areas with high incidence rates or the further limitation of private contacts, have led to further restrictions of public life and international travel.

As a result, AIDA Cruises unfortunately must cancel all seven-day cruises with AIDAperla and AIDAmar around the Canary Islands through the end of Feb. 2021.

The company hopes to continue the Canary Islands season as of March 6, 2021, after the infection situation in Germany has eased significantly.

For all other countries in the winter destinations of AIDA Cruises, the call of cruise ships is not permitted until further notice. Therefore, AIDA unfortunately must also cancel all cruises with AIDAprima in the Orient planned for winter 2021, including the transit voyage from Dubai to Palma (Mallorca).

The first Mediterranean cruise with AIDAstella will start on March 6, 2021.

AIDAsol will cast off for its first trip to the metropolises of Northern Europe on March 6, 2021, as well.

The transit cruise with AIDAsol from Palma (Mallorca) to Hamburg planned for Feb. 19, 2021 has to be canceled, as well as the voyages to Norway with AIDAcara and AIDAaura between Feb. 20 up to and including April 3, 2021 (AIDAcara) and March 27, 2021 (AIDAaura).

All guests whose voyage cannot take place as originally scheduled will be informed immediately.

AIDA very much wants guests to enjoy their long-awaited AIDA holidays at a later date. To this end, the company offers rebooking options from its diverse range of cruises.

Holland America Announces 2021-2022 Caribbean Cruise Season
Beyond the balmy breezes and crystalline waters of the Caribbean, the vibrant cultures of the islands await to be discovered on a Holland America Line cruise during the 2021-2022 season. Ranging from seven to 21 days, guests will have their pick of six of the line's premium, mid-sized ships — including Rotterdam in its debut season in the Caribbean — all conveniently sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Holland America Line's vast offerings between October 2021 and April 2022 feature three- to 14-day itineraries to the eastern, western and southern regions of the Caribbean, including sailings that spend a day discovering the Panama Canal. In addition to Rotterdam, guests can choose a Caribbean cruise on Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Volendam and one holiday sailing on Zaandam.

Half Moon Cay: Best Private Island & Highest Rated Caribbean Port
All of the itineraries include a call at Half Moon Cay, affording guests more opportunities to experience Holland America Line's award-winning private Bahamian island. Both Porthole Cruise Magazine and Travel Weekly readers have named Half Moon Cay the industry's Best Private Island, and it is Holland America Line's highest-rated Caribbean port call by its guests. This quintessential and quaint sanctuary has evolved into a playground for cruise guests and features the finest beaches in the Caribbean; a natural 700-acre lagoon; two-story villas and private cabanas; delicious dining venues like Lobster Shack; a children's waterpark; and a variety of fun-filled shore excursions for nature lovers, adventurous travelers and explorers.

Maiden Season in the Caribbean for Rotterdam
Holland America Line's newest ship kicks off the Caribbean season with three- and four-day samplers. The four-day departs Nov. 3 and calls at Half Moon Cay and Key West Florida, and the three-day departs Nov. 7 and calls at Half Moon Cay. With the most varied options of the season, Rotterdam will then sail a series of cruises that include tropical, western, eastern and southern itineraries ranging from six to 11 days.

Holland America Line's ships explore the treasures of the Caribbean on a variety of routes:

Bahamas Sampler:

Ports: Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas

Length: Three, four or five days

Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Rotterdam

Eastern Caribbean:

Ports: Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; Half Moon Cay

Length: Seven days

Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam

Western Caribbean:

Ports: Combination of Belize City, Belize; Falmouth and Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; Half Moon Cay, Nassau

Length: Seven or eight days

Ships: Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam

Southern Caribbean:

Ports: Combination of Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Bridgetown, Barbados; Oranjestad, Aruba; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Willemstad, Curaçao; Philipsburg, Sint Maarten; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Castries, Saint Lucia; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe; Saint Georges, Grenada; Port-of-Spain, Trinidad; Half Moon Cay, San Juan, St. Thomas

Length: Seven, nine, 10, 11 or 14 days

Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Zaandam

Tropical Caribbean:

Ports: Amber Cove, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay,

Length: Six or seven days

Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam

Partial Panama Canal:

Ports: Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Aruba, Curaçao, Half Moon Cay, Panama Canal partial transit (Gatun Lake/scenic cruising)

Length: 10 or 11 days

Ship: Eurodam

Combine Back-to-Back Cruises for Longer Collectors' Voyages
Many of the cruises can be extended into Collectors' Voyages to create the ultimate Caribbean exploration with more economical fares than if booking the cruises individually. Ranging from 13 to 21 days, these longer journeys combine nonrepeating, back-to-back itineraries, allowing guests to span more than one Caribbean region and enjoy the ultimate island-hopping journey.

Celebrate the Season with a Festive Holiday Cruise

Travelers who like to get away for the winter holidays have nine holiday sailings to choose from that range from seven to 14 days; Holiday Collectors' Voyage extend up to 21 days.

During holiday cruises, guests can take part in a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, enjoy caroling and sing-alongs, participate in Hanukkah celebrations, indulge in traditional holiday meals with all the trimmings and a special Royal Dutch High Tea with fanciful holiday cookies and pastries. Kids will delight in a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts. The New Year's Eve sailings are the ideal setting to ring in a new year, featuring a festive holiday ball with a Champagne toast.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Announces Complimentary Shore Excursion At Every Port
Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that the all-inclusive, luxe-adventure cruise brand designed for experienced and fun-seeking travelers is including more. All guests on all sailings will enjoy a choice of complimentary shore excursions at every port, known as Atlas Ashore, and is part of the Atlas Ocean Voyages' ALL Inclusive ALL The Way commitment. Launching in July 2021, Atlas' first newly constructed, small, expedition ship, World Navigator, will bring guests on once-in-a-lifetime, luxury adventures, which includes 285 complimentary Atlas Ashore options in 107 port calls in the Holy Land, the Black, Mediterranean, and Caribbean Seas, and South America. Additionally, travelers who make a new booking between now and Mar. 31, 2021, will enjoy 50 percent-reduced deposits and receive a complimentary one stateroom-category upgrade and an additional $600 per stateroom, based on double-occupancy, to apply toward pre-cruise purchases of additional shore excursions. For more information about Atlas Ashore, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com/offers.

"Atlas Ocean Voyages is already one of the industry's most-inclusive luxury brands and we now deliver even greater value to all of our guests with the new Atlas Ashore program," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Atlas' unique itineraries to less-traveled and bucket-list destinations provide travelers the highly anticipated return-to-cruise that they are planning right now. And Atlas Ocean Voyages' Atlas Ashore augments our already distinctive All Inclusive All The Way experiences, as we continue to add more complimentary Atlas Ashore options."

"Atlas Ashore was initially conceived as a limited-time offer, but the strong response from travelers and our valued travel advisor partners convinced us that it should be a fundamental part of our product definition," said Brandon Townsley, Vice President of Sales and Trade Partnerships. "Our All Inclusive All The Way commitment includes most everything and helps make doing business with Atlas easy for travel advisors. And travel advisors who recommend Atlas Ocean Voyages will deliver greater value and peace of mind for their clients with Atlas' Plan With Confidence flexible travel policy."

Atlas' Plan With Confidence flexible travel policy provides travelers a 100 percent refund of deposited funds up to 91 days prior to sailing. Plus, they can change their reservation as many times as they want, up to 15 days before their voyages' sail date. They can even change their destination and sail with Atlas in another part of the world or choose to cancel at least 15 days or more prior to the departure date and be assured of a 100 percent future cruise credit.

Atlas' signature All Inclusive All the Way provides guests a complete, seamless and worry-free experience by including complimentary round-trip air travel, shore excursion at every port, prepaid gratuities, polar parkas, emergency medical evacuation insurance, premium wine and spirits, international beers and coffees, Wi-Fi, L'OCCITANE bath amenities, and regionally inspired gourmet dining. In every stateroom, guests enjoy binoculars to use on board, en suite coffee, tea and personalized bar service, and butler service in suites.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand designed for experienced and fun-seeking travelers to immerse in exciting and awe-inspiring moments in less-visited, bucket-list destinations. At 9,930 GRTs, World Navigator fosters a refined and convivial ambience for up to 196 guests and features the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into her state-of-the-art design.

World Navigator is Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified and her construction is on schedule for delivery in July 2021. World Navigator will be joined by World Traveller and World Seeker in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer in 2023.

Seabourn Announces 2021 Alaska & British Columbia Season
Seabourn, the ultra-luxury resort at sea, has planned an exciting program of exhilarating adventures and immersive experiences in Alaska and British Columbia this summer. Seabourn Odyssey is scheduled to sail on a series of newly-revised, seven-day voyages between Juneau, Alaska and Vancouver, British Columbia, taking travelers to explore the vast wilderness and awe-inspiring beauty of the "The Great Land" in a way that is different from the mainstream.

Seabourn Odyssey's itineraries are unique in the marketplace, combining marquee ports such as Sitka and Ketchikan in Alaska with rarely visited gems like the Inian Islands and Alert Bay, a small First Nation village on Cormorant Island in the traditional Kwakwaka'wakw territory of British Columbia. Each voyage will include spectacular glacier experiences in places like Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier or Tracy/Endicott Arm, and will also offer the popular Ventures by Seabourn program of expedition-style experiences led by the onboard expedition team. The line's entire 2021 Alaska season is now open for sale, and itinerary details with more information on the specific destinations visited on each are available on Seabourn's website.

"We are always excited to design and offer travel experiences that enable our guests to have up-close access to the amazing wildlife, breathtaking natural scenery, and unique culture of Alaska and British Columbia," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Our seven-day ultra-luxury voyages and experiences, combined with the splendor of this region, will provide the ultimate Alaska experience."

With its intimate size, highly social atmosphere and award-winning amenities, Seabourn is the best way to explore America's Last Frontier for travelers looking to book a luxury vacation for next summer. The size and maneuverability of Seabourn Odyssey, which carries just 458 guests, all in spacious oceanfront suites, ensures a privileged view of this great and gorgeous land.

Depending on the itinerary, wildlife spotting opportunities are plentiful, both on the ship and off. Destinations such as Cross Sound are one of the main gateways for humpback whales to enter the sheltered waters of Alaska, where guests can get close enough to see everything in this incredibly beautiful environment inhabited by Steller sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, bald eagles and myriad avian species beyond.

Natural wonders are a key experience planned into every Seabourn itinerary, with Alaska and British Columbia having plenty of craggy mountains, long waterfalls, and stunning vistas, so guests have many choices to consider. The North and South Sawyer Glaciers and Dawes Glacier are extremely active, calving frequently and filling their fjords with icebergs while the vast 650,000-acre-plus wilderness around them is home to brown and black bears, wolves, deer, mountain goats, seals and many seabirds. Misty Fjords, which early explorer John Muir declared one of the most beautiful places he'd seen, offer guided experiences via kayak and scenic Zodiac excursions at the very end of the fjord to take travelers to an area of inspiring beauty too narrow for the ship to enter, with vertical granite cliffs rising 3,000-feet above sea level and descending another 1,000-feet below. Glacier Bay, a U.S. National Park and Preserve, unreachable by automobile, is part of a 25 million-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is dotted with vast waterways, dynamic glaciers, emerald rainforests, wild coastlines, deep sheltered fjords, and snow-capped mountains topped by 15,300-foot Mount Fairweather.

All 2021 voyages in Alaska and British Columbia will offer optional Ventures by Seabourn expedition-style tours, featuring guided Zodiac and kayak excursions launched directly from the ship, as well as hiking and wildlife viewing. These excursions will be led by Seabourn Odyssey's expedition team of naturalists, scientists, and wildlife and historical experts. They will also interact with guests throughout each sailing, including complimentary formal presentations as part of the Seabourn Conversations program, and on deck, pointing out, interpreting, and enhancing desirable locations as well as in more casual conversations over meals or at leisure. The expedition team also spends time on deck with SWAROVSKI OPTIK binoculars, some of the finest available and highly coveted by wildlife enthusiasts around the world. Guests who can't get enough can get more insights through team chronicles and photos shared via Seabourn's Voyage Tracker.

In addition to Ventures by Seabourn, the line will offer a number of exciting, optional shore excursions for guests to explore the destinations, from whale watching outings and nature walks to helicopter and seaplane adventures. One of the offerings is the line's popular "Enjoy Your Catch" experience, an exclusive culinary excursion available at select ports where guests can spend time fishing in the fresh air, then taking their personal catch of the day back to the ship to be prepared by the onboard culinary team.

Guests can extend their time in Alaska and British Columbia with Seabourn Journeys, pre- and/or post-vacation packages featuring destinations and experiences in treasured locations that cannot be accessed on single-day excursions from Seabourn Odyssey. These include a visit to Banff National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, aboard the Rocky Mountaineer luxury train.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.14 - 1.18%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 72.12 + 1.98%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.265 - 1.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 24.14 + 1.73%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which classic liner included among her amenities: 20 dog kennels - each carpeted with running water - and a replica New York City fire hydrant for her canine passengers?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which current cruise line established its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969?

Answer - Holland America Line stablished its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969.
courtesy of Larry P. McDonald


Cruise News - January 4, 2021

Carnival Cruise Line Notifies Guests Of Cruise Cancellations
Carnival Cruise Line is notifying guests of additional cruise cancellations, including extending its pause in all operations in the U.S. through March 31, 2021, as well as select ships and homeport operations related to itineraries and dry dock work.

Booked guests and travel agents are being notified directly of the cancellations and their options for a generous future cruise credit and onboard credit package, or a full refund.

In summary, the cancellations include:

• All embarkations from U.S. homeports through March 31, 2021

• Carnival Freedom from Galveston through April 10, 2021 (which includes a repositioning of the ship from Galveston to Seattle and a 17-day Carnival Journeys cruise which is not allowed under the current guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))

• Carnival Miracle from San Diego and San Francisco through September 16, 2021 (which includes many 10-day and longer itineraries not allowed under the current CDC guidelines)

• Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral from September 17-October 18, 2021 (to accommodate rescheduled dry dock work)

• Carnival Sunshine from Charleston from October 11-November 13, 2021 (to accommodate rescheduled dry dock work)

• Carnival Spirit's 15-day cruise from Singapore to Brisbane on June 12, 2021 (consistent with the current limitations on international travel in place in Australia).

"We are sorry to disappoint our guests, as we can see from our booking activity that there is clearly a pent-up demand for cruising on Carnival. We appreciate their patience and support as we continue to work on our plans to resume operations in 2021 with a gradual, phased in approach," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

World Navigator To Feature First-At-Sea Luxury SeaSpa By L'OCCITANE
Atlas Ocean Voyages and L'OCCITANE en Provence are proud to announce the launch of the first-at-sea Luxury SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE. Guests on a World Navigator luxe-adventure expedition will be able to opt from a holistic and sensorial menu in the new luxury SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE to perfectly complement their exciting and awe-inspiring shoreside experiences. The new SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE will be featured aboard World Navigator when she launches her inaugural Holy Land and Black & Mediterranean Seas season in July 2021.

"We are glad to partner with L'OCCITANE to bring their signature treatments to the open seas," said Mário Ferreira, Chairman of Mystic Invest, parent company of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "World Navigator's SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE will offer experienced, inquisitive and fun-seeking guests the luxury brand's Mediterranean art-de-vivre with the same top-quality service and ingredients for which L'OCCITANE is world-renowned. Our two companies have already been working well together for Mystic Invest's hotel brands and river vessels, and this is a positive, organic next step."

"We are delighted to go further in our partnership with Mystic Invest and bring Spa L'OCCITANE unique experience to sea with Atlas Ocean Voyages," said Frederic Darque, L'OCCITANE Global B2B & Spa General Manager. "Travelers at sea can enjoy the same high-quality treatments as they do on land, a fully integrated wellbeing journey to the sunny soils of the South of France."

SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE treatments combine exclusive sequences, all hand-performed, with authentic ingredients from Provence, certified in origin and proven effectiveness. Guests can choose among L'OCCITANE exhaustive spa treatments menu, which features the Destination Deluxe 2020 award-winning treatment "Sleep & Reset Massage," an innovative 90-minute massage with proven* effectiveness on sleep quality. (*Tests and results accredited by European Sleep Center in Paris)

Located on the main deck, Deck 4, the new 947 sq. ft. (88 m2) SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE welcomes guests in a soothing reception room, featuring the Relaxing Pillow Mist, L'OCCITANE's signature scent. Therapists invite guests into one of two treatment rooms for their SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE experience. Afterwards, guests can bask in their post-treatment glow and detox in SeaSpa's infrared sauna or relax on plush loungers in the spa's serenity lounge and enjoy soothing vistas of the passing oceanscape through expansive windows.

Additionally, all staterooms and suites will also include complimentary L'OCCITANE shampoo, hair conditioner, body wash, and handwash for guests to enjoy in their en-suite spa bathrooms.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Guest Cruise Vacations Through May 14, 2021
As Princess Cruises continues to prepare and develop its plans to meet the "Framework for Conditional Sailing Order" issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in addition to the uncertainty around travel restrictions, the company is extending its pause of guest cruise vacations on ships sailing through May 14, 2021. This includes sailings in the Caribbean, the California Coast, along with early season Alaska and Europe cruises.

"We appreciate the patience from our loyal guests and travel advisors as we work to meet the health and safety requirements for our return to service," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "We continue to prepare our ships for our return to service and we are eager to see our guests back on board to create summertime memories."

Guests currently booked on these cancelled voyages will have the option to receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare paid.

To receive the above FCCs, no action is required by the guest or their travel advisor. The FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by May 1, 2022 and sailing by December 31, 2022. Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by February 15, 2021 or guests will be registered for the Future Cruise Credit option.

Princess will protect travel advisor commission on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

Princess Cruises previously paused global guest cruise vacations and cancelled all departures on all ships through March 31, 2021.

Holland America Line Extends Pause in Cruise Operations
As Holland America Line continues to prepare and develop its plans to meet the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the company is extending its pause of cruise operations for all departures through April 30, 2021. This includes Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Pacific Coast, Caribbean, Mediterranean and Canada/New England departures.

The line also will cancel all Alaska cruises through mid-May, Alaska departures on three ships through early June, any Land+Sea Journeys connected with canceled Alaska sailings, Mediterranean cruises through early June and Zaandam's Canada/New England itineraries through August.

Cruises impacted by this pause in operation are:

• All cruise departures through April 30, 2021.

• Alaska: Eurodam and Oosterdam through the first week of June (roundtrip from Seattle); Koningsdam through mid-May (roundtrip from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada); Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam through mid-May (roundtrip Vancouver and between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska); and Zuiderdam though early June (roundtrip from Vancouver).

• Mediterranean: Volendam cruises through early June (between Venice and Civitavecchia [Rome], Italy); Westerdam though early June (roundtrip from Venice or between Venice and Piraeus [Athens], Greece).

• Canada/New England: Zaandam cruises through August (between Boston, Massachusetts, and Montreal, Quebec, Canada).

Guests and their travel agents are being notified of the cancellations and options for Future Cruise Credits (FCC) and rebooking.

Holland America Line is closely following the protocol set forth by the CDC, and is preparing ships and implementing procedures to meet all requirements for approval to sail following the pause.

Guests Automatically Receive Bonus Future Cruise Credit

Cruises impacted automatically will be canceled, and no action is needed when opting for the Future Cruise Credit. All guests will receive an FCC per person as follows:

• Paid in Full: Those who have paid in full will receive 125% FCC of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive an FCC of double the amount of their deposit. The minimum FCC is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.

The FCC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. Noncruise fare purchases — such as shore excursions, gifts, dining and spa — will not be transferred to a new booking and will be refunded to the original form of payment. Other funds such as air fares paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences Form to indicate their preference no later than Feb. 15, 2021.

P&O Cruises Australia Extends its Pause in Operations in New Zealand
P&O Cruises Australia is extending its rolling pause in operations in New Zealand to departures on and before 25 April, 2021 as the cruise line and the wider industry continue to work with government and public health authorities on the appropriate time to restart sailing.

The cruise line, which has based ships in Auckland for many years, will return to New Zealand for a dedicated 150-day season in July 2022.

P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said the start of a new year brought renewed optimism and confidence but, at the same time, it was important to remain realistic about the more immediate future.

"We know that much better days lie ahead and we remain positive about the resumption of cruising. While we've paused operations, P&O Cruises together with the wider industry has been using the time wisely to plan for cruising's return," Mr Myrmell said.

"As we work towards this goal, we wanted to provide our Kiwi guests with as much certainty as possible and flexibility around their 2021 bookings and an opportunity to reschedule their cruise holiday for 2022 or beyond.

"I want to thank our New Zealand guests for their loyalty to P&O Cruises Australia during this time and we look forward to welcoming them back onboard."

Initially scheduled to start sailing from Auckland from 6 February, 2021, Pacific Explorer's operations were previously paused to 4 March, 2021 and are now paused to 25 April.

In Australia, Pacific Adventure is currently scheduled to begin sailing from Sydney on 30 April, 2021 while Pacific Encounter is due to call Brisbane home from 7 May - although additional voyages may be added earlier, depending on the timing of the return of cruising in Australia.

The extended pause in operations from New Zealand affects the following cruises:

Pacific Explorer: X112N, X113N, X114N, X115N, X116N, X117N, X118N, X119N, X120N.

Booking and refund options for cancelled cruises from 7 January, 2021:

P&O will make contact with guests whose cruises have been affected, either directly or via their appointed travel agent, to let them know of this development and the options available to them.

Guests who have not yet received an offer in response to a cruise that was cancelled during P&O's pause in operations are entitled to a full refund or bonus onboard credit if they choose a future cruise credit.

P&O will pay refunds back to travel agents for guests who booked through that channel. The cruise line will also protect travel agent commissions on all bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full as at 5 January, 2021.

Guests with bookings affected by the pause in operations, can track the progress of their future cruise credit or refund request via a new tracking tool found on P&O's website.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.38 - 5.13%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 70.72 - 1.49%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.270 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 23.73 - 7.05%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which classic liner included among her amenities: 20 dog kennels - each carpeted with running water - and a replica New York City fire hydrant for her canine passengers?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which current cruise line established its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969?

Answer - Holland America Line stablished its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969.
courtesy of Larry P. McDonald


Cruise News - December 28, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line’s New Mardi Gras Docks in Rotterdam for First LNG Refueling
Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras made its first port call this morning in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where the ship will refuel its innovative Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system for the first time after delivery.

Mardi Gras, set to begin sailing from Port Canaveral, Fla., next year, will be the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by LNG.

In its liquefied state, LNG is odorless, colorless, more environmentally friendly and less expensive than other fuels. LNG is considered the marine industry’s most advanced fuel technology. LNG does require, larger, custom-built tanks than conventional fuel as well as specialized refueling stations, such as the one in Rotterdam.

One of the most technically advanced ships at sea, Mardi Gras is equipped with four medium speed LNG engines that will be run in port and at sea. The ship can operate for two weeks between refuelings.

Mardi Gras, which was delivered to Carnival last week at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, is scheduled to depart Rotterdam tomorrow and then sail to Barcelona, Spain, before making its eventual arrival in the U.S. The ship’s inaugural voyage from Port Canaveral is scheduled for April 24, 2021.

Cruise Ships to Dock at the Port Without Passengers
Expect to see more cruise ships — all without passengers — in and around the Port of Los Angeles in the weeks ahead. The visits for fuel, supplies and services are part of the cruise lines’ operations to reestablish the ships in U.S. waters as a prerequisite to meet federal regulations in order to resume cruising in the future.

Cruise operations have been suspended since March due to the pandemic, and no date has been set yet for U.S. passenger sailings. The Port continues to closely monitor the situation and is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), California Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and other emergency and public health agencies. The CDC recently issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, outlining a phased resumption of cruise ship passenger operations.

Princess Cruises, Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ships are scheduled to send ships arriving in Los Angeles this week and through the new year, periodically docking at the Los Angeles Cruise Terminal for fuel, food, supplies, and/or services. No vessels will be carrying passengers.

The Port of Los Angeles is expecting more than two dozen cruise ship calls through early February.

In addition to increased precautions to minimize community spread of and exposure to COVID-19, cruise ship safety implementations while at berth include Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC) training and Marine Evacuation System (MES) replacement.

In 2020, the Port of Los Angeles experienced 93 cruise cancelations—more than 70% of total cruises—due to the pandemic. Each time a cruise ship calls in Los Angeles, it contributes about $1 million to local businesses and the economy. Losing these cruise ships amounts to losing nearly $100 million in economic activity on the LA Waterfront.

Royal Caribbean Group appoints Amy C. McPherson to Board of Directors
Royal Caribbean Group ( today announced the appointment of Amy C. McPherson, former president and managing director of Europe for Marriott International, to its Board of Directors. Her appointment was effective as of December 21, 2020.

"I am honored to welcome Amy to our board of directors," said Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group's chairman and CEO. "Her many years of involvement in the growth of the travel industry, as well as her deep experience in the development of international markets, will be a valuable addition to the board."

McPherson spent more than 30 years in leadership roles at Marriott International, including 10 years of service as the company's president and managing director of Europe, until her retirement in 2019. While at Marriott, she was recognized as one of 25 outstanding "Women Who Mean Business" by the Washington Business Journal.

Ms. McPherson is former Vice Chair of the Executive Advisory Council at James Madison University College of Business. Currently, she is a principal investor in KidsKnowBest, a full-service creative agency providing strong brand solutions for the social age powered by kids.

Royal Caribbean Group Announces $40M “Pay It Forward” Program
After an unprecedented nine months without sailing, travel advisors know that their clients are eager to return to cruising. The only remaining question is when – and the answer to that is drawing closer every day.

That's why Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) is announcing plans to launch "Pay It Forward," a second phase of its successful RCL CARES program to support its travel advisors as they look to rebuild their businesses after a challenging 2020.

The program makes a $40 million pool of funds available to qualifying travel advisors, who can apply for three-year, interest-free loans of up to $250,000 to keep their businesses focused on a return to growth at a time when the pandemic shows increasing prospects for coming under control.

“We know our travel advisor friends are suffering, too, and we will get through this tough period together, just as we always have,” said Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Group’s chairman and CEO. “Our travel partners have stood strong beside us for more than 50 years, and we are determined to be there for them now. We’re going to get to the other side of this challenging time together.”

The pause in cruising has put a financial strain not only on cruise lines but on travel agencies large and small. And while there is optimism that the travel industry will recover strongly post-pandemic, businesses still need financial wherewithal during this intervening period of slower-than-usual business.

The company said details about the application process for the program would be shared directly with travel advisors in January.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.71 + 3.09%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 71.79 - 0.04%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.270 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.53 + 3.03%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which current cruise line established its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - The two 14 000 ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971/72 were the Cunard Adventurer (in later 1976 became Sunward II for NCL) and the Cunard Ambassador. These were replaced in by the Cunard Countess (1976) and the Cunard Princess (1977). Although the scheme never materialized, these were origianally intended to be part of an eight ship series being planned by MGM. Cunard had these ships finished to their specifications.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe


Cruise News - December 21, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Takes Delivery Of Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line today took delivery of its highly anticipated new ship, Mardi Gras, in a live virtual signing ceremony at the Meyer Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland.

When Mardi Gras begins guest operations in April 2021, the 180,000-gross-ton vessel will be the most innovative ship in North America as it will be the first ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), boast a suite of new technology, and BOLT, the first-ever roller coaster at sea.

The ship's venues, dining and entertainment will be dispersed throughout six distinctive zones, and include a new restaurant by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, the line's first-ever Big Chicken by Shaquille O'Neal, two dining venues led by Food Network star Guy Fieri, and a new restaurant concept by master chef Rudi Sodamin. The centerpiece of the ship is a breathtaking three-deck-high atrium with floor-to-ceiling windows and movable LED screens that open up to a stunning ocean view.

Mardi Gras will accommodate more than 5,200 guests and a crew of 2,000. Guests will have the choice of more than 2,600 staterooms and 180 suites across 11 categories.

"We have been working tirelessly this year to get to this exciting day to take delivery of this beautiful ship, and the team at Meyer Turku has been an outstanding partner throughout this process," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "I cannot wait for our guests and crew to see and experience Mardi Gras. Notwithstanding the delays related to the pandemic, there is tremendous enthusiasm and pent-up demand for this ship. Next we will work on the development of her sister ship, Carnival Celebration, which arrives in 2022 and has sold very well since inventory opened in October."

"We are delivering a beautiful and highly advanced ship with world-class technology such as LNG propulsion, to name just one. With these sophisticated systems, she will be one of the most environmentally friendly ships to sail the North American waters. I am very proud of our team of shipbuilders and would like to thank everyone involved of their dedication during the building process", CEO of Meyer Turku, Tim Meyer, states.

Duffy said Mardi Gras will depart from Turku later this month to begin her voyage to North America. The ship will operate seven-day Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, Fla., and Carnival has worked closely Port Canaveral to build a new cruise terminal to accommodate the Excel-class ship and also facilitate the new LNG fueling process. The inaugural voyage for Mardi Gras is scheduled for April 24, 2021.

Viking Marks Float Out Of First Expedition Ship
Viking today announced its first expedition ship – the 378-guest Viking Octantis – was "floated out," marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touches water. Scheduled to debut in early 2022, Viking Octantis will spend her maiden season sailing voyages to Antarctica and North America's Great Lakes. A second, identical expedition ship, Viking Polaris, is set to debut in summer 2022 and will sail journeys to Antarctica and the Arctic. Viking has also developed a series of short videos about the new expedition voyages, ship design and prestigious scientific partnerships, which can be found on its website.

"Working with Fincantieri over the last eight years, we have built the world's most beautiful ocean ships. We are pleased to continue our partnership with Fincantieri's VARD and celebrate this important milestone in the construction of our first expedition vessel," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "In creating 'the thinking person's expedition,' we are perfecting polar expedition cruising, and we will usher in a new era of comfortable exploration in the heart of North America. Viking Octantis and her sister ship, Viking Polaris, will allow our guests to explore further – to the ends of the earth as well as closer to home. I would like to thank our partners at VARD and everyone working at the yard for the hard work and dedication on the building of Viking Octantis; we look forward to welcoming her to our fleet in early 2022."

The float out is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. The float out ceremony of Viking Octantis took place today, December 22; she was then moved to a nearby outfitting dock for further construction and interior build-out. After final outfitting, Viking Octantis will be delivered at Fincantieri's VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway.

Esteemed explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft will be honored as ceremonial godmothers to Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, respectively. Arnesen, a native Norwegian, became the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole in 1994. Bancroft is the first woman to successfully ski to both poles. Arnesen and Bancroft also became the first women to ski across Antarctica in 2001. Together they co-founded Bancroft Arnesen Explore / Access Water, an initiative that aims to engage and empower more than 60 million minds to create a sustainable tomorrow.

Viking Expedition Ships

The new Polar Class 6 Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. Designed by the same experienced nautical architects and engineers that designed Viking ocean ships, the ships are optimally sized and built for expeditions – small enough to navigate remote polar regions and the St. Lawrence River, while large enough to provide superior handling and stability in the roughest seas. The ships will feature public spaces that are familiar to Viking's ocean cruise guests but that have been reimagined for expeditions, as well as new public spaces created specifically for expeditions. Straight bows, longer hulls and state-of-the-art fin stabilizers will allow the ships to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey; ice-strengthened Polar Class 6 hulls will provide the safest way to explore; and U-tank stabilizers will significantly decrease rolling by up to 50 percent when the ships are stationary. Viking's expedition ships will feature modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• The Hangar: An industry first, The Hangar brings true comfort to expedition cruising. This enclosed, in-ship marina permits the launch of small excursion craft through the ship's multiple shell doors. The Hangar's most innovative feature is an 85 ft. slipway that allows guests to embark on RIBs from a flat, stable surface inside the ship, shielded from wind and waves. There is also a FerryBox, a set of instruments continuously collecting and displaying data on water quality, oxygen content, plankton composition and more.

• The Laboratory: Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, while hosting guests, will also be working research vessels with an onboard team of Viking Resident Scientists working on a variety of studies. Developed in consultation with Cambridge University and Viking's other academic partners, The Laboratory, at 430 sq. ft., is designed to support a broad range of research activities and is equipped with wet and dry laboratory facilities, a sample processing area, fume cupboard, freezer and cool storage, comprehensive microscope optics and extensive bench space for analysis-specific instruments. Guests will have supervised access to The Laboratory, which is located in a glass-enclosed mezzanine above The Hangar, to learn from and participate with scientists undertaking primary research, an experience unique to Viking.

• Expedition Equipment: Viking will offer a variety of ways for guests to experience their destination, according to their interests and activity level, at no extra charge. With a robust program of complimentary experiences, expedition equipment available for guests on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will include a fleet of military pro zodiacs designed for professional use in the harshest of environments; a fleet of two-seater Arctic-tested kayaks; and two 12-seater convertible RIBs. Each ship will also feature two six-guest submarines that feature revolving seats and 270-degree spherical windows for an incomparable undersea experience. Everything guests need will be provided: a Viking Expedition Kit will contain items like boots, binoculars and waterproof pants; each excursion will carry a full range of Safety Equipment, such as satellite phones, VHF radios, ropes, life jackets and a comprehensive shore survival kit; and all guests will receive complimentary use of Viking Excursion Gear, which includes specialty items like trekking poles, snowshoes and skis.

• The Aula & Finse Terrace: Viking has created the world's most advanced venue for learning at sea with The Aula, a stunning panoramic auditorium at the stern. Inspired by the University of Oslo's famed ceremonial hall where the Nobel Peace Prize was historically awarded, The Aula will offer a dynamic venue for lectures and entertainment, with floor-to-ceiling windows and 270-degree views. Adjacent to The Aula through sliding glass walls is the Finse Terrace, an outdoor lounge area with comfortable couches and warming lava rock "firepits" – perfect for panoramic views of the surroundings. Together the two spaces can be combined to create an unmatched indoor-outdoor al fresco experience for guests to be immersed in nature.

• Nordic Balcony: A first for polar expedition cruise vessels, all staterooms on board Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform. Harnessing the Norwegian reverence for light and to create the optimal wildlife observatory at sea, the Nordic Balcony's floor-to-ceiling, distortion-free glass at the very edge of the ship lets guests take the views in, while keeping the elements out. Should guests wish to feel even closer to nature, the top of the panoramic glass lowers to transform the stateroom into a sheltered lookout, with an observation shelf at elbow level to stabilize binoculars or a camera. Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 sq. ft to 1,223 sq. ft: Nordic Balcony, Deluxe Nordic Balcony, Nordic Penthouse, Nordic Junior Suite, Explorer Suite and Owner's Suite. All staterooms feature a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom is also equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.

• Expedition Ship Suites: Nordic Junior Suites (322 sq. ft.) and Explorer Suites (580 sq. ft) on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris rival those on Viking's fleet of ocean ships, with abundant wood detailing and amenities that include additional storage and seating, an expanded bathroom with extended shower and double sinks, welcome champagne, a fully-stocked mini-bar replenished daily, complimentary laundry and shoeshine services, priority restaurant reservations and more. Explorer Suites feature two separate rooms, a Nordic Balcony and a full outdoor veranda. Additionally, each ship features one Owner's Suite, which at 1,223 sq. ft, is twice the size of the Explorer Suites. With the most exclusive accommodations and amenities on board, it features two separate rooms – a living room with six-seat dining table and a bedroom – as well as a 792 sq. ft. private garden with a traditional Norwegian badestamp (wood-sided hot tub) and outdoor dining table.

• Aquavit Terrace & Pools: Located at the stern and featuring a retractable glass dome, this indoor-outdoor heated sanctuary will allow guests to be surrounded by their destination as they swim and lounge in three different temperature-controlled pools, including an "inside-out" swimming experience. The Nordic Spa & Fitness Center: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Nordic Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind – with a thermal suite that features a Sauna, Snow Grotto and chaise lounges, as well as a warm hydrotherapy pool and badestamp (hot tub), surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. A state-of-the-art Fitness Center will also provide the latest equipment and workout gear.

• Explorers' Lounge: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris have a two-deck Explorers' Lounge at the bow of the ship, offering the perfect spot for taking in stunning scenery through double-height windows over a mug of mulled wine or glass of Norwegian aquavit. Dining Choices: Viking's expedition ships will offer an array of dining options that build on the successful venues from Viking's ocean ships, but which have been redesigned for expeditions. The Restaurant will offer fine dining featuring regional cuisine and always-available classics; the casual World Café will be a new "market" concept that offers live cooking, an open kitchen, bakery, grill and premium seafood and sushi choices, as well as a wide range of international flavors; Mamsen's, named for "Mamsen," the Hagen family matriarch, serves Scandinavian-inspired fare; Manfredi's offers the best of Italian cuisine; and 24-hour room service will be complimentary for all guests.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking creating "the thinking person's expedition." As part of that commitment to destination-focused learning, Viking's exclusive partnerships with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology will match leading researchers and educators with each expedition. The onboard expedition program is designed to prepare guests for their onshore experiences, with more than 25 experts accompanying each journey – the Viking Expedition Team (expedition leader and staff, photographer and submarine pilots) and Viking Resident Scientists (biologists, botanists, geologists, glaciologists, oceanographers, ornithologists, polar experts and researchers). On board, guests will enjoy daily briefings and world-class lectures about their destination – and engage with working scientists from renowned academic institutions in The Laboratory or participate directly in citizen science programs. On shore, guests can assist in fieldwork or interact through experiential activities during landings – such as monitoring birds to help identify migratory patterns; accompanying scientists to collect samples; or taking their cameras ashore alongside a professional photographer to learn how best to capture scenic landscapes.

• Sustainable Features: Compliant to all guidelines and regulatory requirements from AECO, IAATO, the Antarctic Treaty System and the Governor of Svalbard, Viking's expedition ships minimize environmental impact and meet the most stringent emissions and biosecurity standards. Additionally, the straight bow reduces fuel consumption, and a dynamic positioning system enables the ship to hover over the seabed without anchoring, allowing access to pristine environments without damage.

Handover Of Costa Firenze, The Ship Inspired By The Beauty Of The Renaissance
Costa Cruises officially took delivery of the new Costa Firenze ship from Fincantieri, designed and built in the Marghera shipyard and inspired by the Florentine Renaissance. The event has taken place in full digital mode today.

With 135,500 gross tonnage and a capacity of more than 5,200 guests, the Costa Firenze is part of the development plan that includes seven new ships to be delivered for the Costa Group by 2023, for a total investment of more than €6 billion. Costa Firenze is the fourth of these new ships to be delivered with three more to come.

Of the 14 ships currently operating in the Costa Cruises fleet, 11 were built by Fincantieri, confirming the solid relationship between the two companies, as well as representing a significant contribution to the Italian economy, including guaranteeing work for thousands of employees in the shipyards and external companies, mainly involved in interiors fittings.

"The handover of the new Costa Firenze is a sign of hope and restart for the whole cruise and tourism ecosystems. This ship represents the most tangible evidence of the will of our group to restart. Our hope is that people will soon be able to travel again and that more ships will set sail and contribute to the revitalization of tourism in Italy, Europe and globally," stated Michael Thamm, group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia. "Looking beyond the pandemic, Costa's goal is to design the future of sustainable and zero emission cruising and we hope that our long-lasting partnership with Fincantieri can bring our companies to work together on a roadmap that can lead to this ambitious yet essential objective."

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: "Costa Firenze is the third cruise ship we have delivered since September and we are pleased that the name of this unit recalls one of the most famous cities of art in Italy and in the world. The delivery is an important moment because it is the concrete demonstration that the company is getting back to its normal production activity. I would also like to underline that the financial and economic situation of Fincantieri has not changed significantly compared to what we communicated in the previous quarters. The company has proven to be very resilient, avoiding the cancellation of orders and strengthening relations with the customers of the cruise sector. We are a growing company, we gained an international reputation and reliability, making further development easier, and we can count on an order book guaranteeing long-term visibility with opportunities to increase efficiency, productivity and profitability."

"Costa Firenze is a superb ambassador of Italian style, bringing a distinctive Italian taste for beauty to the seas around the world, from Europe to Asia," said Mario Zanetti, chief commercial officer of Costa Cruises and president of Costa Group Asia. "The concept of the Costa Firenze is inspired by an iconic city, which represents Italian art, taste and refinement in the world's collective imagination. We have designed this ship to offer our guests a unique experience, especially for the family target, with a specific offer of entertainment and services."

Costa Firenze's interior design is a celebration of the Tuscan city, cradle of Renaissance art and culture. The common spaces reflect the harmony of a stroll through a Florentine street or square, even in the choice of colors. Gastronomic offerings are based on the great Mediterranean cuisine, with a wide choice of dining options guaranteed by 13 bars and seven restaurants. The ship is perfect for families, with specific offers and some new features such as a real "adventure park" on board.

The Costa Firenze project also takes sustainability in special regard. Costa Firenze's excellent environmental performance has been acknowledged by RINA, an international certification organization, with Green Star 3, a voluntary notation covering all the main aspects of a ship's environmental impact and requiring maximum protection and prevention across areas such as waste, grey water, black water, machinery oil, CO2, ozone, greenhouse gases, particulate matter, sulphur oxides, nitrogen and ballast water, among others. In addition to honoring compliance with a series of environmental sustainability standards, the certification also recognizes the design solutions and operating procedures that Costa has implemented voluntarily, both during construction and navigation, aimed at outperforming the environmental protection requirements of international regulations.

The ship will first sail in the Mediterranean in 2021, providing two different week-long itineraries in the western Mediterranean. The first itinerary, available from Feb. 28, 2021, includes the Italian destinations of Genoa, La Spezia – with excursions also departing to Florence – and Naples, as well as Valencia, Barcelona and Marseille. The second itinerary, available from May to October 2021, includes Genoa and Civitavecchia, with excursions to Rome, as well as Naples, Ibiza, Barcelona and Marseille. After October 2021, the ship will move to Asia to join her sister ship Costa Venezia, also built by Fincantieri, in the Monfalcone shipyard, and in operation since March 2019.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.06 + 0.62%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 71.82 - 3.02%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.270 - 8.47%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 24.78 - 2.44%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which passenger/cruise ships had, at one time, a glass bottom to view marine life?

Answer - The Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Spirit had the glass bottom to "view" the marine life below.
courtesy of Rob Alderman


Cruise News - December 14, 2020

Yes Virginia, There Is A Roller Coaster On A Cruise Ship, And Santa Claus Just Rode It
Santa Claus took a break from his pre-Christmas festivities to venture down to Finland and take a test run on BOLT, the first-ever roller coaster at sea aboard Carnival Cruise Line's new Mardi Gras which is being delivered at the Meyer Turku shipyard later this week.

With enthusiastic shrieks of delight and a few hearty "ho-ho-ho's" echoing throughout the shipyard, Santa zipped along the 800-foot-long track featuring a hairpin curve around the ship's iconic funnel, all while achieving speeds of up to 40 miles an hour.

The all-electric coaster can accommodate two riders – or one Santa Claus and his bag of toys, perhaps – in motorcycle-like vehicles that race 187 feet above the water line, providing incredible views to the sea below.

"Never in my wildest dreams would I think a rollercoaster could be on a cruise ship. It's something we'll be talking about at the North Pole for a long time!" St. Nick said.

Built in partnership with Germany-based Mauer Rides, BOLT is a first-of-its-kind open-air attraction that take cruise industry innovation to new heights when the ship enters service in 2021 from Port Canaveral, Fla.

Royal Caribbean’s Empress And Majesty Of The Seas To Depart Fleet
Royal Caribbean International today announced Empress and Majesty of the Seas will depart its fleet later this month.

“Empress and Majesty of the Seas made indelible marks on the cruise industry with their revolutionary design and size. Touted as the cruise industry’s most groundbreaking ships when they were introduced, they continued to make history throughout their more than three decades of service,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Saying goodbye to these two beloved ships is a major moment in Royal Caribbean’s history – one that is difficult but necessary. With plans for new, innovative ships to join our fleet in the upcoming years, we look forward to our guests and crew continuing to make new memories with us.”

Empress was the first ship designed for 3- and 4-night cruises when she launched in 1990, with her initial sailings visiting The Bahamas from Miami. Empress also made history as the first cruise ship to sail out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey when Royal Caribbean opened the terminal in 2004. In 2017, the ship took center stage again when she set sail on the global cruise line’s inaugural cruise to Cuba.

Majesty also played a crucial role in Royal Caribbean’s commitment to continuously redefine the industry. The third ship to round out the impressive Sovereign Class was more than twice the size of the average cruise ship – and the largest in the vacation company’s fleet – when she debuted in 1992. Her adventures began with 7-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami.

The ships have been sold to an undisclosed party, based in Asia-Pacific, that will release details for future sailings at a later time.

Guests and travel advisors with clients booked on Empress and Majesty will be contacted about their options.

Seabourn Announces Updated 7-Day Itineraries
Seabourn has announced updated itineraries and schedule changes to its 2021 Alaska and British Columbia season between May and September 2021 on Seabourn Odyssey. The entire season will now consist of 18 seven-day voyages between Vancouver, Canada, and Juneau, Alaska, taking guests to the region's most popular destinations, as well as hidden gems along the Inside Passage rarely visited by most cruise lines.

Seabourn revised the itineraries to operate on a seven-day basis to meet the requirements of the Framework for Resuming Cruise Ship Operations order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for sailings with U.S. port calls. To accomplish this, the line has changed its deployment to rotating seven-day north and southbound itineraries operating from Vancouver, British Columbia and Juneau, AK. A number of these voyages will feature the incredible Glacier Bay experience as Seabourn is one of the only ultra-luxury brands with permits to explore Glacier Bay.

"We're dedicated to delivering an authentic ultra-luxury experience in one of the most spectacular regions in the world, including remote, pristine ports that are difficult to access if you're not coming by Seabourn-sized ships," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "At the same time, we are committed to meeting the CDC's requirements to return to service and bring guests back to our ships in a safe and healthy model."

Seabourn's newly revised itineraries for its 2021 Alaska and British Columbia season will feature voyages carefully curated to provide guests with an in-depth and enriching experience in "The Great Land." Each week-long cruise will include spectacular glacier experiences in places like Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier or Tracy/Endicott Arm. Voyages also include the popular Ventures by Seabourn program of expedition-style experiences led by the onboard expedition team. More information on the line's Alaska season is available on Seabourn's website.

As a result of the deployment changes, Seabourn's revised 2021 Alaska and British Columbia season will begin on May 28, 2021, and therefore, the line has canceled two voyages: the Pacific Coastal sailing scheduled for May 15, 2021 and the Alaska voyage that was set to depart May 21, 2021.

Seabourn will be communicating changes and specific details to guests and their travel advisors on the affected voyages.

Seabourn is currently enhancing health and safety protocols with input from global health experts in response to COVID-19 and assessing how they may impact future itineraries. Actual offerings may vary from what is displayed in marketing materials or on our website. Click on the following links to stay updated on current Cruise Updates, Health & Safety protocols, and CDC Travel Advisories.

Viking Announces 2022-2023 World Cruise"
In response to strong demand for its World Cruise itineraries, Viking has announced its new 2022-2023 Viking World Cruise, which will span 138 days, 28 countries and 58 ports, with overnight stays in 11 cities. Departing on December 22, 2022 from Ft. Lauderdale, guests will sail on Viking's newest ocean vessel, Viking Neptune, which will join the company's fleet of award-winning 930-guest ocean ships in late 2022.

Viking World Cruise guests will embark in Florida and journey to Central America, before transiting the Panama Canal and sailing up the West Coast of North America. A shorter, 121-day Viking World Journeys itinerary, is also available, allowing guests to join Viking Neptune in Los Angeles and cross the Pacific Ocean to call in Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, before exploring ports of call in Asia and the Middle East. Finally, the ship will journey through the Mediterranean and conclude the voyage in London.

"We are pleased to offer this new opportunity for explorers to circumnavigate the world in comfort," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "World Cruises are truly special voyages, and they continue to be one of our most sought-after offerings. Our 2021-2022 World Cruise has already sold out more than a year in advance, which speaks to the enthusiasm of our guests as they look forward to the return of international travel."

2022-2023 Viking World Cruise Highlights:

Viking's newest World Cruise itinerary visits dozens of the world's most iconic cities, alongside lesser-known destinations, in one seamless itinerary. Overnight stays in 11 ports, such as Sydney, Haifa, and Istanbul, and double overnights in Auckland, Bali, Ho Chi Minh, Yangon, and Mumbai allow guests to delve deeper. While on board, Viking offers cultural enrichment through onboard lectures and entertainment – such as the Viking Resident Historian program, which provides guests with a high-level historical and cultural education specific to their journey. Guests will immerse themselves in the world's rich cultures during included excursions that provide unmatched insight into daily life, as well as Privileged Access visits to cultural institutions. Highlights of the new 2022-2023 Viking World Cruise itinerary include:

• Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii: The Garden Island – Explore the lush vegetation of tropical Kauai, nicknamed Hawaii's "Garden Island." Guests can embark on a scenic drive to Wailua, known as the "Land of the Kings," to admire stunning nature including the 150-foot high ?Opaeka?a Falls, visit Nawilliwilli's Old Town and enjoy a walk along the beach, or peruse the shops of nearby Anchor Cove.

• vSydney, Australia: Iconic Harbor – Experience Sydney's magnificent harbor, the world's largest, and enjoy an overnight stay allowing ample time to explore this culture-rich city, from its world-class opera house to the natural wonders of the nearby Blue Mountains.

• Singapore, Singapore: A Melting Pot of Cultures – Witness the remarkable cultural diversity of Singapore during an overnight stay. Take a tour of the city's eclectic neighborhoods, from Little India to Arab Street, visit the futuristic horticultural park showcasing more than one million plants, or enjoy a Night Safari at the world's first nocturnal wildlife park.

• Mumbai, India: A City of Old and New – While in port in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, guests can learn about the life and legacy of activist Mahatma Gandhi, enjoy the Hanging Gardens, one of the prized few parks found in the city, and explore the diversity of its neighborhoods, from the picturesque narrow streets of Old Mumbai to the colorful markets in the city's center.

• Istanbul, Turkey: Where East Meets West – Guests will enjoy ample time to experience this historic city during an overnight stay. Straddled across two continents and the Bosporus Strait, Istanbul offers a wealth of religious sites to explore such as the spectacular Blue Mosque or the legendary Hagia Sophia, and boasts delicious fusion cuisine, combining fresh Mediterranean fare with spices from the Far East and Asia.

• London (Greenwich), England: The Royal Borough – The journey concludes in the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, London on the Thames River, allowing easy access to the regal capital's iconic sights, including the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Viking Neptune Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. Viking Neptune is the ninth ship to join Viking's award-winning ocean fleet, which also includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Sun, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter, Viking Venus and Viking Mars. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking's ocean fleet features modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from 270 sq. ft. Veranda Staterooms, all with private verandas, sweeping views of the destination and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, generously proportioned closets, large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand, free Wi-Fi and award-winning bathrooms with large showers, premium Freyja bath products and heated floors.

• Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. With expansive views from wraparound private verandas, as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category on board, Explorer Suites offer the ultimate sanctuary for World Cruise guests.

• Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.

• LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.

• Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow of the ship and designed to represent the Scandinavian spirit for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.

• The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.

• Dining Choices: Viking's ships offer eight dining options, all with no additional charge or fee—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a variety of culinary options, and the World Café, which features international fare and regional specialties including a sushi and seafood cold bar—to intimate alternative dining experiences at The Chef's Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and Manfredi's, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. The Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers, while afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden. Mamsen's serves

• Norwegian deli-style fare, and complimentary 24-hour room service allows all guests to enjoy many signature dishes in the comfort of their stateroom. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking's ocean ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea. Additionally, The Kitchen Table specializes in regional dishes from market to table.

• Cultural Enrichment: Viking experiences from ship to shore are designed for unparalleled access and cultural enrichment. Viking Resident Historians deliver high-level historical and cultural education specific to the journey, offering invaluable insight into the rich history of the destination. Guest Lecturers who are experts in their fields shed light on the destination's art, architecture, music, geopolitics, natural world and more. Destination Performances represent the most iconic cultural performing arts of the region—whether it be Italian opera or Portuguese fado. Resident Classical Musicians—pianists, guitarists, violinists and flautists—perform classical compositions throughout the ships. And Culinary Classes in The Kitchen Table, Viking's onboard cooking school, focus on regional cuisine.

• Nordic Inspiration: Even the smallest details take their inspiration from the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings, reflecting deeply held Nordic traditions. Light wood grains, touches of slate and teak,

• Swedish limestone and fragrant juniper appear throughout the public spaces and Spa. The Clinker-built design of the Viking Bar mirrors the construction style of the original Viking Longships. A Viking Heritage Center provides history and context from the Viking Age. And characters from Norse Mythology are subtly incorporated into the design, providing curious guests with inspiration to further explore Viking's Nordic heritage. Sustainable Features: Designed to be environmentally friendly, Viking's ships feature energy-efficient engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that reduces exhaust pollution and meets the strictest worldwide environmental regulations.

Cunard's Flagship Queen Mary 2 Takes Center Stage in new HBO Max Film, "Let Them All Talk"
As Meryl Streep's character, famed novelist Alice, steps out of the taxi upon arriving at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, she gazes in awe at Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 dwarfing the port, a magnificent site, even to the most veteran cruise passenger. This is one of the opening scenes of the new film, "Let Them All Talk," directed by the award-winning Steven Soderbergh, streaming on HBO Max on today. Streep's character is sailing aboard the grand ocean liner as a special guest of the voyage's enrichment program, Cunard Insights.

The three-time Academy Award winner Streep is joined by fellow acting royalty, two-time Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest, and five-time Emmy Award winner Candice Bergen. Supported by Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges and actress Gemma Chan, the film is set aboard the storied Transatlantic Crossing, amidst the backdrop of Queen Mary 2's inimitable style, elegance and luxurious surroundings. In fact, the majority of the film was shot on board in some of the vessel's most beloved spaces: the atmospheric, Art Deco Commodore Club, the sumptuous Queens Grill suites and dining room, the Royal Court Theatre and the 9,000 volume library, just to name a few.

As the film was captured aboard a live voyage, many on board guests had a chance to grab their moment in the spotlight when they were cast as extras in the film.

"We were absolutely delighted when Steven Soderbergh approached us to film his next feature on board Queen Mary 2," said Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard. "While Cunard and our flagship are accustomed to hosting luminaries from all over the globe, it was quite something to welcome Steven, Meryl, Dianne, Candice, Lucas and Gemma for this very special and unique opportunity. We are very excited about the film, its witty and engaging story and how lovingly Steven captured the essence of our flagship and the Transatlantic Crossing experience."

Deadline commented that the film's "highly sophisticated and elegant filmmaking is one of Soderbergh's finest…" which resonates with the atmosphere on board, and very well reflected in the production. The viewer can almost experience the leisurely and luxuriant pace of the Crossing, and the allure of this iconic voyage.

Commenting on his experience aboard Queen Mary 2, Soderbergh said: "Color me well impressed. I have never seen an enterprise on this scale of complexity run so beautifully. Every Cunard staff member we interacted with was committed to providing the best possible experience for their guests, which in this case included our cast and crew. And I can confirm without question that as stunning as Queen Mary 2 looks on camera, she's even more stunning to the naked eye."

HBO Max began streaming "Let Them All Talk" on December 10.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.93 - 9.78%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 74.06 - 9.26%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.295 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.40 - 4.15%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which passenger/cruise ships had, at one time, a glass bottom to view marine life?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner featured a lounge called the "Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"?

Answer - The Liner with the Boat 'n' Bottle Bar was the American Export Lines 'Constitution.
courtesy of Pete Teland


Cruise News - December 7, 2020

Cunard Extends Pause in Operations Into May and June
Cunard announced today it has extended its pause in operations due to the ongoing travel constraints in place across the world.

Voyages departing on board Queen Mary 2 up to and including May 28, 2021, and on board Queen Elizabeth up to and including June 4, 2021, are now cancelled. Departures on Queen Victoria remain unaffected and are scheduled to resume May 17, 2021.

Guests who have had their voyage cancelled will automatically receive a 125% Future Cruise Credit, providing an additional 25% on any monies paid, to redeem against a future voyage.

The 125% Future Cruise Credit can be used on any new booking made by the end of December 2021 and on any voyage available at the time of booking. Voyages are currently available through to early 2023.

Guests preferring a refund should complete the form on Cunard.com.

Cunard President Simon Palethorpe said: "Our extension to the pause in operations is the result of the ongoing restrictions on cruising in the UK and around the world, and recognizes the significant lead times to return to service once those restrictions are lifted.

"We are extremely sorry for the disappointment we know this will cause. We know how much careful consideration goes into planning a holiday and apologize that our guests now have to wait a little longer to travel once again with Cunard.

"Guests are able to use their enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit to book for later in 2021 or for one of our newly announced 2022 voyages. The tremendous response already to our 2022 voyages, put on sale just a few weeks ago, clearly demonstrates our guests are eagerly anticipating travelling again with us. We're equally looking forward to the time when we can welcome back our guests."

Carnival Cruise Line Sets 2021 Dry Docks For Three Ships And Defers Their Return To Operations Until After Work Is Completed
Carnival Cruise Line has established dry dock plans for three of its ships, and as part of its gradual, phased-in return to operations in 2021, will defer the deployment of the vessels until after the work is completed.

In a letter to guests and travel agents, Carnival advised that it has cancelled cruises on Carnival Magic (up to and including the embarkation on Sept. 24, 2021), Carnival Paradise (up to and including the embarkation on May 31, 2021) and Carnival Valor (up to and including the embarkation on Sept. 11, 2021).

Guests will have the option of a 100 percent future cruise credit combined with a generous onboard credit, or a full refund.

Carnival Cruise Line Updates Guests On Itinerary Cancellations
Carnival Cruise Line is informing guests and travel agents that it has cancelled select itineraries for specific operations in 2021, as it implements its plans for the resumption of cruising in 2021, including cruise operations in February from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston and moving the inaugural sailing of Mardi Gras until April 24, 2021.

Mardi Gras will operate from Port Canaveral, and remains the most anticipated new ship to operate from North America in 2021. It will be the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered ship in the Americas, and feature BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea. Carnival will take delivery of the ship from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland later this month and eventually sail to the U.S. and meet the requirements of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Carnival is also cancelling the remaining itineraries scheduled to operate from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston through Feb. 28.

"We apologize to our guests but we must continue to take a thoughtful, deliberate and measured approach as we map out our return to operations in 2021," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Our commitment to the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit is at the forefront of our decisions and operations."

Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces New CruiseFirst Program
Norwegian Cruise Line announced this week the introduction of CruiseFirst, a value-add program offering guests both increased flexibility and additional savings when booking their dream cruise vacation in 2021 and beyond.

CruiseFirst certificates offer guests a $300 value for the cost of $150 and allow them three years from purchase date to apply their certificate to any new reservation across NCL’s award-winning 17-ship fleet visiting more than 300 destinations worldwide. CruiseFirst certificates are combinable with nearly all public promotions including our currently running bestselling deal of the year: 30% off a voyage on any ship plusall five Free at Sea offers including free open bar, free specialty dining, free shore excursions credits, free WiFi and discounted rates for friends and family-- a value of more than $2,900.

“As we look at breaking free from the boundaries of 2020 and think of better days ahead, we want to inspire our guests to dream big about their future vacation at sea with us,” said Harry Sommer, Norwegian Cruise Line president and CEO. “Our CruiseFirst program, launched just in time for the holiday season, provides unbeatable value and serves as a great gift for those planning to turn their vacation daydreams into vacation reality.”

Guests can purchase CruiseFirst certificates by calling 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or contact their travel professional. A maximum of ten coupons may be purchased per person with one coupon valid per reservation. Voyage date must be more than 120 days from original purchase date.

Princess Cruises Global Fleet to Feature MedallionClass Experience in 2021
Princess Cruises announced that upon approval to return to service in 2021 its global fleet will feature the MedallionClass Experience, offering a number of new features that leverage touchless technologies and significantly enhance and personalize the guest experience, as well as support new health protocols.

The line of smart ships is expanding as ship transformation has continued during the pause. Coral Princess, Diamond Princess, Emerald Princess, Grand Princess, Island Princess, Majestic Princess, and Sapphire Princess will return as MedallionClass ships along with the new Enchanted Princess.

The cruise line's OceanMedallion wearable device replaces the traditional cruise card and pairs with embedded IoT ("Internet of things") -driven innovative technology to significantly expand touch-free options and personalization on board Princess MedallionClass ships including:

• touchless embarkation and disembarkation

• keyless stateroom entry

• completely contactless commerce

• simplified safety training

• on-demand food, beverages and retail items delivered anywhere on board

• guest service requests via mobile device chat

• location-based gaming and wagering

• entertainment content via smart devices

Princess MedallionClass ships also offer the best Wi-Fi at sea, MedallionNet, so guests can stay connected to the things and people they love and share vacation memories with ease. MedallionNet offers unprecedented connectivity that's fast, unlimited and affordable, so guests can stream favorite movies, shows, games and music; connect to favorite social media sites; and video chat from anywhere on the ship.

"Innovation is allowing us to pair guidance from public health experts with the unparalleled touch-free capabilities of the OceanMedallion honoring our commitment to health and safety, while continuing to reinvent and simplify the experience all together," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "During this down-time we've worked behind the scenes to re-engineer our operation to give guests maximum control of their cruise vacation, as well as to activate the Princess MedallionClass Experience on all of our ships."

A noted breakthrough in the vacation industry, the OceanMedallion connects guests and crew to an experiential "IoT" platform through a network of sensors and readers that help recognize individuals in locations throughout the ship, facilitating extraordinary touchless capabilities that include highly-personalized service and interactive entertainment, while also reducing contact between guests and crew on board and in ports.

"The same technology we've used to simplify and personalize the guest experience on our Princess MedallionClass ships for the past three years is now being further leveraged to safeguard our guests and crew as well," said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. "That means that the smartest ships at sea are now enabling intelligence-driven safety processes via the OceanMedallion."

Medallion-Enabled Touchless Experiences

TrulyTouchless Arrival and Embarkation Princess is transforming embarkation day by leveraging OceanMedallion technology to reduce friction, remove contact, and avoid crowds, streamlining arrival and check-in, as well as completely reinventing the traditional

muster drill.

OceanReady - Upon return, all guests will be required to become OceanReady before leaving home, creating a touchless, expedited arrival experience and embarkation. Guests will use the MedallionClass app to upload travel documents (i.e. passport information) and complete a health questionnaire in advance as well as provide important emergency information and form of payment, take a security image, personalize their Medallions and order accessories to be shipped to their home or ready for pick up upon arrival.

Simplified Safety Training - A new approach to the safety assembly on embarkation day lets travel parties watch an important safety video on their mobile device anytime on embarkation day or from the comfort of their cabin via their stateroom TV and verify their designated muster station with a quick, contactless check-in at their convenience anytime between boarding and sail away. The OceanMedallion and xIoT provide the verification needed by the ship's captain to confirm muster drill check-in while strengthening safety and security operations onboard, safe-guarding guest and crew health, and increasing operational efficiency.

Keyless stateroom entry - Access to staterooms is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated as their cabin door automatically unlocks as they approach – no fumbling for a phone or key card. The traditional do-not-disturb sign also becomes a thing of the past as the feature is integrated with the personalized portal outside each cabin, allowing guests to request privacy or designate their room for service by touching the display or using the MedallionClass app.

TrulyTouchless Commerce - MedallionPay transforms shopping on vacation by eliminating the need to carry cash and credit cards on board and in Princess Cays. MedallionPay allows for effortless payment when purchasing anything on the ship – food, beverages, merchandise, excursions, even laundry tokens. Because the proximity of the Medallion associates a guest's photo with their location, crew members can quickly transact purchases without requiring the guest to handover, tap, swipe or insert a card, sign or enter a pin number.

OceanNow Service On-Demand - Food, beverage, retail orders and service are delivered directly to a guest's location. Guests can place orders using their smart device, their stateroom TV or with a crew member, as the Medallion continuously ensures great service wherever a guest may go on board.

Service Always Available - The location-based capabilities of the Medallion are allowing Princess to completely reinvent onboard guest service. Instead of queuing at the guest service desk for help or support, guests sailing on MedallionClass ships will now be able to request assistance from their mobile device, stateroom TV or any crew member using OceanNow. Requests will then be routed to a crew member to chat or locate the guest to provide personal assistance.

"Our guests have always loved the convenience of OceanNow, but because the pandemic has expanded people's appreciation of direct delivery, we think even more guests will embrace the ability to order food, drinks and more to meet them where they want to be - whether that's a meal or a request for service," added Swartz. "Not only does it prevent unnecessary queuing, it elevates our service delivery."

Contactless Experiences Accessible from the MedallionClass App On board Princess MedallionClass ships and throughout the guest journey, a portfolio of exceptionally fun and convenient experiences put guests in control. Contactless capabilities are accessible from guests' smart phones and tablets, and include shipboard wayfinding, family and friends locator, first-run movies, an interactive events and activities planner, wager-based gaming, and interactive fun.

• Locate Travel Companions, Chat Using OceanCompass: The Medallion helps guests easily locate and chat with friends and family on board, as well as enables proprietary and industry-exclusive person-to-person wayfinding throughout the ship.

• First-run movies on the go*: With OceanView, guests can watch recently-released films, the world's most popular travel series, and live TV featuring broadcasts of select onboard events and more, from anywhere on board using their smart phone or tablet at no additional cost.

• Reserve Events/Interactive Voyage Timeline*: An interactive timeline within JourneyView lets guests see all ship events scheduled during their voyage and reserve activities they are interested in attending, adding it to their own personalized itinerary.

• Wager-based gaming*: With Ocean Casino guests wager real money on games including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board, blackjack on stateroom TVs.

• Interactive fun*: PlayOcean puts entertainment at guests' fingertips with interactive trivia, a ship-wide bar adventure, customizable avatars and more. PlayOcean also transforms guests' mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the massive Movies Under the Stars screen near the ship's main pool. *Experiences are also available on portal displays around the ship or via stateroom TVs

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.20 + 16.12%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 81.62 + 3.57%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.295 - 3.28%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 26.50 + 15.87%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner featured a lounge called the "Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner featured a lounge called the "Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"?

Answer - The Liner with the Boat 'n' Bottle Bar was the American Export Lines 'Constitution.
courtesy of Pete Teland


Cruise News - November 30, 2020

Carnival Ecstasy Comes to the Aid of an Injured Mariner at Sea
While anchored in The Bahamas on Tuesday, Carnival Ecstasy responded to a Mayday call from the private yacht “Balista” seeking help for a crew member suffering from severe injuries. Carnival Ecstasy was approximately four nautical miles away. While it could see that another cruise ship was closer, the other vessel did not appear to be responding to the Mayday and Carnival Ecstasy Captain Domenico Calise immediately proceeded to lift anchor and proceed to the Balista to rescue the 29-year-old male crew member.

Working in tandem with Carnival’s Fleet Operations Center, Carnival Ecstasy contacted all appropriate authorities, including the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), as per normal protocols. Because of rough seas and 30 knot winds, Captain Calise and his team had to abort the initial transfer of the crew member and lowered a rescue boat to bring him on board.

The crew member was evaluated and treated by Carnival Ecstasy’s medical team who advised that his injuries required further treatment at a shoreside medical facility. Carnival Ecstasy then headed north where it was met by a USCG helicopter and a successful medical evacuation was completed.

Many thanks to the Carnival Ecstasy team for their heroic efforts.

Like other Carnival Cruise Line ships, Carnival Ecstasy is currently in a pause in its operations with ships at minimum non-operational manning status with limited crew members and no guests on board.

Royal Caribbean Group Extends Suspension Cruising
Royal Caribbean Group announced this week that while they continue to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government authorities around the world toward the shared goal of safely returning to cruising, Royal Caribbean Group will be extending the suspension of some sailings.

The following schedule reflects adjustments to upcoming itineraries.

Royal Caribbean International:

• Most global sailings suspended through Feb. 28, 2021

• Australia sailings suspended through April 30, 2021

• Spectrum of the Seas China sailings suspended through Jan. 20, 2021

• Quantum of the Seas is resuming service in Singapore

Celebrity Cruises:

• All global sailings suspended through Feb. 28, 2021

• South America sailings suspended through April 7, 2021

Silversea Cruises:

• Suspended through April 1, 2021, except for the Feb. 6, 2021 sailing of Silver Origin

Azamara:

• Suspended sailings through March 20, 2021

After months of careful planning, extensive training and simulated trials, Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas resumed cruises for Singapore residents this week with comprehensive health and safety measures in place meeting the requirements of the CruiseSafe Certification standards developed by the Singapore government.

Royal Caribbean Group’s panel of globally recognized scientific and medical experts, together with teams both on sea and on land, continue to focus on a healthy and safe return to service for our guests, crew and the communities we visit.

We will be reaching out to our guests and travel partners to share further details and address any questions or concerns they may have.

Cunard Announces Organizational Changes
Cunard announced today three key changes to senior leadership roles in its North American operation as part of the company's continued efforts to strengthen its position and best prepare for the resumption of cruising. Management changes include internal appointments to sales and marketing and customer service.

Jamie Paiko, currently senior director of marketing, has been appointed to vice president of sales, overseeing the Cunard national account managers and providing support to the regional sales directors and field sales team. She will also be responsible for Cunard's North American public relations efforts. During her role as senior director of marketing she worked closely with the sales team in supporting their efforts. Paiko is a 25-year veteran to the cruise industry, holding various roles at both Cunard and Princess Cruises. Her breadth of knowledge and experience within the organization is comprehensive, holding roles in marketing, customer service, market planning and direct marketing.

Nicole Knox, who holds the position of manager of advertising and marketing, has been promoted to director of marketing, where she will oversee all marketing efforts for North America including digital advertising, trade and consumer advertising, web, customer relationship management (CRM), direct mail and collateral. Knox joined the Cunard marketing team in 2005.

Expanding his role as director of pricing and demand for Cunard North America, Jeriel Lubaton will add management of the customer service team to his responsibilities. Lubaton oversees pricing and performance for Cunard North America and Asia. He also leads the revenue management team and handles global executive reporting and forecasting.

"Throughout its esteemed history, North America has been a cornerstone of Cunard's success," said Simon Palethorpe, Cunard president. "We plan on growing this ever more, including through our return to sailing in Alaska, and these three appointments will further strengthen our presence in North American market."

Jan Swartz Named President Of Holland America Group
Carnival Corporation today announced Jan Swartz has been named group president of Holland America Group, responsible for Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn and P&O Australia, as well as Holland America Princess Alaska Tours and inter-group operations.

"Jan is a highly respected executive and a role model," said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. "Jan is a champion of innovation and a proven leader."

In 2016, Swartz was named as group president of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia, as well as having executive oversight of the P&O Cruises Australia brand.

Previously, in 2013, she was appointed president of Princess Cruises after more than 12 years working with the cruise line. Prior to this, she served as executive vice president, overseeing the line's sales, marketing and customer service operations, a position held since 2009.

In 2004, Swartz served as senior vice president of sales and customer service for both Princess and sister brand Cunard, and in 2001, she was appointed vice president of strategy and business development and worked on the P&O Princess acquisition by Carnival Corporation.

Additionally, Swartz is the president of the Princess Cruises Community Foundation.

Swartz holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Virginia.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Announces Private Charter Jet Service
Designed for the curious and fun-seeking, well-traveled cruiser, Atlas Ocean Voyages announces a new innovation to Antarctic expeditions. The luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand is chartering a private wide-body jet to bring guests from the United States to Ushuaia, Argentina, where they will embark World Navigator, Atlas' new expedition ship. Atlas' private charter jet service shortens the travel time it takes for guests to reach and return from the Antarctic embarkation port and avoids the layovers and inconvenient scheduling, which are common with commercial routes. Guests also enjoy Atlas' elegant and engaging service as soon as they board the private jet, all part of Atlas' All Inclusive All the Way commitment, in which complimentary, round-trip air travel and more is always included. For more information about Atlas Ocean Voyage's new private charter jet service for World Navigator's Antarctic expeditions, sailing November 2021 through March 2022, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

"Antarctica is the ultimate bucket-list destination and Atlas Ocean Voyages is innovating the industry again by greatly reducing the transit time for North American travelers," said Atlas' President Alberto Aliberti. "And our guests will enjoy Atlas' engaging and enjoyable ambience as soon as they board our private charter jet. This innovation is part of Atlas' All Inclusive All the Way commitment, in which we take care of the details and make it more convenient and seamless for our guests to enjoy Atlas' once-in-a-lifetime experiences."

Guests of World Navigator's Antarctica itineraries enjoy included, complimentary air travel from 16 major U.S. and Canada gateways. They connect at Orlando, Florida, with Atlas' private charter wide-body jet, which brings guests directly to meet World Navigator at Ushuaia. The direct service trims off at least a day's travel time when flying from North America to the Argentine town, also known as the "End of the World." On board, suite guests are accommodated in business-class seating, while all guests enjoy premiums meals, attentive service and unlimited beverages.

Upon arrival at Ushuaia, guests will be escorted through immigration and transferred to World Navigator, while their checked luggage is delivered to their suites and staterooms. At the conclusion of their luxury expedition, guests will be hosted at a Patagonian Gaucho ranch for a farewell meal and experience, prior to boarding Atlas' jet for home.

Atlas' newly constructed, safe, clean and green, small expedition ship, World Navigator, will offer 12 departures on nine-night itineraries to the Antarctic Peninsula, starting Nov. 19, 2021. Two special, 12-night itineraries will offer guests a more extensive Antarctic expedition: the Nov. 28 departure brings guests under the umbra of a rare Antarctic Solar Eclipse and includes the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, while the Feb. 2, 2022, itinerary crosses the Antarctic Circle to initiate guests into the exclusive Order of the Red Nose.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure, expedition cruise brand designed for worldly and fun-seeking travelers to immerse in active and awe-inspiring experiences in less-visited, bucket-list destinations. At 9,300 GRTs, World Navigator fosters a refined and convivial ambience for up to 196 guests and features the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into her state-of-the-art design.

Atlas' signature All Inclusive All the Way provides guests a more seamless and worry-free experience by including emergency medical evacuation insurance for all guests, as well as complimentary round-trip air travel, polar parkas, prepaid gratuities, premium wine and spirits and international beers, coffees and smoothies, Wi-Fi, L'Occitane bath amenities, and regionally inspired gourmet dining. In every stateroom, guests enjoy binoculars to use on board, en suite coffee, tea and personalized bar service, and butler service in suites.

World Navigator is Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified and her construction is on schedule for delivery in July 2021, followed by World Traveller and World Seeker in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer in 2023.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.98 + 9.90%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 78.81 + 4.00%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.305 - 1.61%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 22.87 + 9.48%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner featured a lounge called the "Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service?

Answer - It was the Tropicale in 1982.
courtesy of Ronald Russo, Salem NH.


Cruise News - November 23, 2020

AIDA Cruises starts with Canary Island Cruises on December 5, 2020
AIDA Cruises today announced that it will offer Canary Island cruises starting from December 5, 2020.

On December 5, 2020, AIDA Cruises will open their cruise season around the Canary Islands with AIDAperla, followed by AIDAmar, which will start its winter season with the Christmas voyage on December 20, 2020. The 7-day voyages to the islands of eternal spring start on Saturdays or Sundays from Gran Canaria.

The Spanish government adopted clear regulations for safe travel in the Canaries in November, which are in line with AIDA's already established hygiene and prevention measures. AIDA's health and safety protocols, which have been audited by SGS Institute Fresenius and confirmed by the classification society DNV-GL, among others, include measures such as the free COVID 19 test before the voyage, secure arrival and departure, medical care, distance regulations and increased disinfection measures on board, as well as guided shore excursions.

Due to the current situation in the United Arab Emirates, Spain (except Canaries) and France, AIDA has to adjust the schedule in the Orient and the Western Mediterranean. All cruises on AIDAstella and AIDAprima that were planned between December 1, 2020 and January 26, 2021 are cancelled.

Guests whose cruises are cancelled will be informed immediately.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Global Ship Operations into 2021
In response to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "Framework for Conditional Sailing Order" pertaining to resumption of U.S. cruise operations, Princess Cruises is extending its pause in global operations to allow time for the estimated preparation needed for completing required activities prior to sailing and taking into consideration the temporary seven-day cap on itineraries that call at a U.S. port. The cruise operations impacted include the following:

• All cruises sailing through March 31, 2021

• All cruises longer than seven days sailing in and out of United States ports through November 1, 2021

Additionally, due to the uncertainty about when international travel restrictions might be lifted, Princess Cruises is extending its pause in operations for cruises departing in and out of Japan through June 25, 2021.

"We are focused on preparing our ships to meet the CDC health and safety requirements for our eventual return to service," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "We also appreciate the continued support we have received from our guests, partners and travel advisors, reinforcing for all of us why we do what we do."

Guests currently booked on these cancelled voyages will have the option to receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare.

To receive the above FCCs, no action is required by the guest or their travel advisor.

Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by December 31, 2020 or guests will be registered for the Future Cruise Credit option.

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

Seabourn Announces Additional 2021 Voyage Cancellations
Seabourn announced today that it will cancel a series of 2021 voyages for two ships in its fleet as part of a broader redeployment in preparation for an eventual return to service.

The cancellations come while the brand works to implement its plan to resume guest operations, which includes meeting the requirements of the Framework for Resuming Cruise Ship Operations order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for sailings with U.S. port calls.

The cancellation announcement applies to select itineraries on Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Quest. Specific details are as follows:

• Seabourn Odyssey: with select voyages cancelled from January 16, 2021 – November 5, 2021. Seven-day Alaska/British Columbia and the Pacific Coast sailings have not been cancelled.

• Seabourn Quest: with voyages longer than 7 days and calling on a U.S. port cancelled from July 22, 2021 – November 6, 2021.

"We're fully committed to meeting the requirements necessary to bring guests back to our ships, including those issued by the CDC," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Our team is grateful for the continued support we are seeing from guests, the travel advisor community, our partners and everyone with an interest in the hundreds of destinations we visit. Stay tuned for releases of alternative voyage options in the months ahead as conditions permit."

Guests with impacted cruises will automatically be cancelled and all guests will receive Bonus Future Cruise Credits. They can also request a full refund of monies paid to Seabourn. Specific details are as follows:

• Paid in Full: those guests paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

• Under Deposit: those guests with bookings under deposit will receive a Future Cruise Credit valued at 125% of the deposit amount paid. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. The amount of non-cruise fare purchases may be transferred to a new booking. Alternatively, guests may request a refund of the monies paid to Seabourn, which will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

Guests and their travel advisors will be sent specific details applicable to their booking. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available on its website first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.

Holland America Line Extends Cruise Pause to Include All Departures Through March 31, 2021
As Holland America Line continues to prepare and develop its plans to meet the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the company is extending its pause of cruise operations for all departures through March 31, 2021. The line also will cancel select longer voyages, and cruises of eight days or longer that call in the United States until Nov. 1, 2021.

Cruises impacted by this pause in operation are:

• All cruise departures from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2021.

• Cruises of eight days or more that call at a U.S. port through Nov. 1, 2021.

• Select longer voyages in Asia, Australia/New Zealand and South America through mid-April 2021. Some departures will be rescheduled to comparable dates in 2022.

Guests and their travel agents are being notified of the cancellations and options for Future Cruise Credits and rebooking.

Holland America Line has begun to prepare ships and implement procedures to meet all requirements for approval to sail following the pause. More details on the company's return to cruise will be announced as soon as possible.

Guests Automatically Receive Bonus Future Cruise Credit

Guests with impacted cruises canceled through March 31 automatically will be canceled, and no action is needed when opting for the Future Cruise Credit (FCC). All guests will receive an FCC per person as follows:

• Paid in Full: Those who have paid in full will receive 125% FCC of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive an FCC of double the amount of their deposit. The minimum FCC is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.

The FCC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. Non-cruise fare purchases -- such as shore excursions, gifts, dining and spa -- will not be transferred to a new booking and will be refunded to the original form of payment. Other funds such as air fares paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

Longer Voyages Through April 2021 to Sail in 2022

Guests booked on several longer voyages to South America aboard Westerdam, Asia aboard Noordam and Australia/New Zealand aboard Oosterdam will be rebooked to similar dates and itineraries in 2022. Those booked on the Voyage of the Vikings cruise, scheduled to depart July 9, 2021, aboard Zaandam, will move to a similar date in 2022.

All guests moving to a new voyage in 2022 will receive a $150 per person shipboard credit, protected pricing and equivalent stateroom category.

Full Refund Option Also Available

Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences form to indicate this preference no later than Dec. 31, 2020.

The above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may?apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line. See the terms and conditions in the Cancellation Preferences form for all details.

Holland America Line previously paused global cruise operations and canceled all departures on all ships through Dec. 31, 2020, and select Hawaii and Grand Voyage itineraries for early 2021.

P&O Cruises extends pause in operations into April 2021
P&O Cruises has extended the pause in operations into April 2021 in response to the current uncertainty around European ports of call.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: "With hopeful news headlines clearly we do not want to extend our pause in operations any further than absolutely necessary, but given the ever changing guidance around international travel and the varying regulations in many European ports of call we felt it prudent to cancel these additional dates.

"In addition, as the final payments are due for these cruises very soon we felt it was the right thing to do for our guests.

"We are so sorry to disappoint those who were due to travel but really hope they will re-book for later in the year or for our new programme of 2022 holidays which went on sale earlier this month with strong demand, showing great confidence in cruising in the future."

All guests with bookings on a cancelled cruise will be notified and will automatically receive an enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit or alternatively a 100% refund by filling out a web form.

Viking Hires New Chief Health Officer
Viking announced today that it has hired Raquel C. Bono, M.D. as the company's Chief Health Officer. A board-certified trauma surgeon and retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps, Dr. Bono most recently led Washington State's medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Principal at RCB Consulting, she partnered with Viking earlier this year to help develop and define new protocol enhancements; as Chief Health Officer, Dr. Bono will be instrumental in Viking's restart of operations, with a focus on public health.

"Dr. Bono brings valuable perspective informed by an extraordinary career that has included decorated military service, trauma surgery and health care administration. Additionally, her work as the head of Washington state's COVID-19 health care response team makes her uniquely qualified to be our Chief Health Officer as we finalize plans for operating cruises safely," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We are proud to officially welcome Dr. Bono to the Viking family, and we will soon be sharing more details about the Viking Health & Safety Program, which we believe is one of the most well-researched and comprehensive COVID-19 prevention and mitigation plans in the travel industry."

"I am delighted to join the Viking family and am proud of the significant work we have already done together. I look forward to continuing to create the safest environment possible for Viking's guests and crew members, while also contributing to the collective public health efforts to address COVID-19," added Dr. Bono.

Commissioned in June 1979, Dr. Bono received her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and M.D. from the School of Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She completed a surgical internship and General Surgery residency at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, and a Trauma and Critical Care fellowship at the Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine in Norfolk, Virginia. She saw duty in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and is the first female Navy medical officer to have achieved three-star rank. As Chief Executive Officer and Director for the Defense Health Agency (DHA), Dr. Bono led a joint, integrated combat support agency that enables all branches of the U.S. military medical services to provide health care services to combatant commands in times of both peace and war. Dr. Bono integrated an unprecedented $50 billion worldwide health care enterprise for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, composed of 50 hospitals and 300 clinics that provide care to 9.5 million military personnel, oversaw the Department of Defense deployment of the electronic health record, and facilitated the collaboration between the largest federated health systems of the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Dr. Bono holds an MBA from the Carson College of Business from Washington State University, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Senior Fellow with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Her personal decorations include a Defense Distinguished Service Medal, three Defense Superior Service Medals, three Legion of Merit Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.

Today's announcement follows news that Viking has become the first cruise line to complete the installation of a full-scale polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing laboratory at sea. The laboratory on board Viking Star has enough capacity for up to daily testing of every crew member and guest, which provides flexibility to respond to COVID-19 prevalence levels around the world. In the coming months, Viking will complete the installation of PCR laboratories on the remainder of its ocean ships – and will also have a strong network of shoreside laboratories for its river ships.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.18 + 3.47%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 75.78 + 0.37%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.31 + 12.37%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 20.89 - 1.97%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When is a Sapphire Princess not a Sapphire Princess? The current Sapphire Princess sailing for Princess Cruises had a different name when construction started. What was her original name and why did it have to be changed?

Answer - She was the Diamond Princess. She was renamed the Sapphire Princess after the original Sapphire caught fire and was extensivly damaged during construction.
courtesy of Stephene Sykes, Los Angeles, CA


Cruise News - November 16, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Cancels Additional Cruises as it Works to Meet CDC Requirements
As it continues to build and implement its plan to meet the requirements of the Framework for Resuming Cruise Ship Operations Order issued on Oct. 30 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Carnival Cruise Line notified guests and travel agents that it has cancelled additional cruises for the first part of 2021, including:

• All embarkations from U.S. homeports from Jan. 1-31.

• Additionally, Baltimore, Charleston, Jacksonville, Long Beach, Mobile, New Orleans and San Diego embarkations through Feb. 28.

• Embarkations on Carnival Legend out of Tampa through March 26.

Carnival is in the process of building a gradual, phased in approach to resume guest operations, which will focus initially on Miami and Port Canaveral, to be followed by Galveston. Consistent with CDC protocols, Carnival Horizon arrives in Miami this week, and Carnival Breeze will be the next ship back to the U.S. In total, 16 Carnival ships are currently following the CDC process for an eventual resumption of guest service in the U.S. in 2021, including Carnival Conquest, Dream, Ecstasy, Elation, Freedom, Glory, Liberty, Miracle, Panorama, Pride, Sensation, Sunrise, Sunshine and Vista. Mardi Gras, which is under construction in Finland, will also enter service in 2021.

With this announcement Carnival's operations are paused in the U.S. through Jan. 31, 2021. In addition, Carnival had previously cancelled certain other itineraries on four ships (Magic, Paradise, Valor, and Victory/Radiance) that are scheduled for required dry docks in the first half of 2021, with the plan to return them to operations after maintenance work and upgrades are completed. Carnival previously cancelled operations in Australia through March 2, 2021.

"We are committed to meeting the CDC requirements and keeping our guests and business partners informed of our progress," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "The entire Carnival team appreciates the great support of our guests, travel advisors and business partners, and local officials in our homeports and destinations."

Celebrity Cruises Unveils New Luxury? Brand Approach: ‘Always Included’
Vacations should be effortless from the start.

That’s why Celebrity Cruises has announced a new approach to cruising called ‘Always IncludedSM,’ putting an end to confusing promotions, complicated add-ons and limited time offers. Starting Tuesday, Nov. 17th, every Celebrity Cruises vacation will include Wi-Fi, drinks and tips, simplifying the luxury vacation experience.

“Everything we do at Celebrity is driven by the desire to redefine what today’s luxury looks and feels like, with experiences modern travelers want. With the launch of our Edge Series ships, Celebrity Edge and her brand-new sister ship Celebrity Apex, we tapped into a powerful ‘New Luxury’ culture - relevant, relaxed, design-focused and inclusive,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. “Today, nothing is more luxurious than when things are extra simple and extra special. We wanted to bring that big wonderful feeling of ‘everything is taken care of’ to life for our guests.”

“After this challenging year, ease and peace of mind have become even more invaluable commodities,” said Peter Giorgi, vice president and chief marketing officer of Celebrity Cruises. “People want to spend more time being inspired, not getting lost in a myriad of booking options. Our new ‘Always Included’ approach makes the purchase process simple and incredible – one decision and the wonder of a Celebrity cruise awaits.”

“Always Included” becomes the new standard rate for the luxurious experience offered on Celebrity’s awardwinning ships and includes:

• Unlimited Drinks – Classic cocktails, wines by the glass, beer, sodas, specialty coffees and teas, juices and bottled water can be fully enjoyed without worrying about the tab.

• Unlimited WiFi – Free, always-on connection to social media, email and the web, allows guests to surf the net to their heart’s desire.

• Daily Gratuities – Tips are taken care of allowing guests to relax and enjoy the warm service delivered by Celebrity’s exceptional crew, knowing that the crew behind the superior service are also being taken care of.

For guests who want even more luxurious simplicity, Celebrity is offering the option to upgrade to one of two packages:

• ELEVATE takes the package to new heights with unlimited premium drinks and adds shore excursions up to $200 per person.

• INDULGE includes everything in the ELEVATE package and adds to it with unlimited streaming Wi-Fi and up to an additional $200 per person in onboard credit to spend almost any way desired.

All guests in The Retreat – Celebrity’s unparalleled vacation concept featuring stunning all-suite accommodations and all-exclusive experiences including a private restaurant, lounge and sundeck, and a dedicated team of butlers and concierge staff - will receive the same amenities as the INDULGE package at no additional charge.

“Always Included” is the latest in a series of innovations available on Celebrity ships, including the recent transformation of the traditional cruise industry safety drill into a more personal digital experience, called Muster 2.0, that can be accessed by guests from any smart device or on a stateroom TV and completed at the guest’s leisure prior to the ship’s departure, providing more time to relax and ease into a wonderful getaway.

“Always Included” is available for all new bookings on any of Celebrity’s cruise offerings, excluding Galapagos vacations. As part of its new approach, Celebrity has also enhanced its loyalty program to offer Captain’s Club members new perks and special onboard experiences. Travel advisors can learn more about “Always

Atlas Ocean Voyages Launches At Last… Atlas Marketing Campaign
Atlas Ocean Voyages today announced a new marketing campaign, At Last… Atlas. Supporting the travel advisor community and appealing to travelers' pent-up desire to explore the world again, At Last… Atlas will be released across social media and national consumer and trade print magazines throughout 2021. The luxe-adventure cruise brand has partnered with Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and actress Ashley Támar to create a music video that will be the centerpiece of At Last… Atlas in the United States. With Ashley Támar providing the soulful vocals of an iconic song, the At Last… Atlas music video underscores traveler's longing as they look forward to returning to cruising in the new year

"The new At Last… Atlas campaign message promotes the simple and timely invitation to travelers to return to cruising," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "We're lucky to have the chance to collaborate with a highly regarded and recognized Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and actress. Ashley Támar takes the song's classic lyrics and instills a spirit that encourages travelers to return to the elegance and joy of cruising with Atlas. There's a lot of pent-up demand to return to cruising and this campaign showcases Atlas' unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences aboard World Navigator starting in July 2021."

At Last… Atlas was created for Atlas Ocean Voyages by Coconut Grove-based full-service advertising agency MARCA. The campaign features soothing imagery of Atlas' intimate expedition ship, World Navigator, in a remote, halcyon cove at the end of an exhilarating and inspirational day. Accompanying the imagery is Atlas' invitation to explorers and dreamers to aspire to travel again:

At Last…

At Last it's time…

At Last it's time to come back to something brand new.

At Last… Atlas.

"Collaborating with Atlas Ocean Voyages on the At Last… Atlas project is more than a dream come true," said Ashley Támar. "We are pioneering and re-defining how we experience travel, culture, adventure, and entertainment. I am beyond grateful to align all of my creative gifts to deliver my interpretation of one of music industry's most iconic songs as part of the campaign's centerpiece video and beyond."

Houston-native and known professionally as Ashley Támar, Ms. Davis was an original member of Girls Tyme. Ashley Támar's debut self-titled album "My Name Is Támar…" was released in 2011, followed by "I Am the Storm" in 2016. Among her countless industry accolades are a 2006 Grammy nomination for co-writing and co-recording the inspirational song Beautiful, Loved and Blessed, with the late musical genius Prince, and "turned four chairs" en route to becoming a finalist on Season 10 of The Voice. Ashely Támar's next highly anticipated album "My Name Is Ashley" will be unveiled to the world on the 10th anniversary of her first album in March 2021.

Royal Caribbean Doubles Up On Adventure With 2022 Alaska Deployment
Royal Caribbean International is gearing up for its most adventure-packed Alaska season in summer 2022, introducing new itineraries that tout four ports of call and others that showcase twice the glaciers. With a variety of destinations and four unforgettable cruise ships to choose from, including two of the most innovative in the region – Ovation, Quantum, Radiance and Serenade of the Seas – thrill seekers can experience the breadth of Alaskan nature and culture. The diverse beauty of America’s last frontier will come to life in the culturally rich towns of Haines and Sitka, Seward’s wild natural beauty, and the majestic vistas of the Inside Passage and Hubbard Glacier.

Informed by guest feedback, travel advisors and local partners, the robust vacation offering will be part of a longer summer program, offering 7-night cruise vacations departing from Seattle; Seward, Alaska; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Quantum Class Goes Bolder & Bigger in Alaska

Ovation of the Seas – the first of the cruise line’s game-changing Quantum Class to sail the Last Frontier – will be joined by sister ship Quantum of the Seas to sail 7-night roundtrip itineraries from Seattle. The Quantum Class ships will bring guests to more scenic cities and towns along the Northwest coastline, including Victoria, British Columbia; Sitka, Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska. Travelers will feel a warm welcome in picturesque towns, where native tradition and original Russian architecture are folded into daily Alaskan life, and the awe of the region’s lush landscape, wildlife-filled fjords and gigantic glaciers like the 30-mile-long Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier – best viewed from the North Star, a glass observation capsule unique to Quantum Class that rises 300 feet above sea level.

The adrenaline rush will continue with onboard activities, including a collection of indoor and outdoor pools, the FlowRider surf simulator, RipCord by iFly indoor skydiving experience, and SeaPlex, the largest and most revolutionary indoor active space at sea. When vacationers need a break, they can enjoy Two70, a cutting-edge and transformative venue that offers 270-degree views of the ocean by day and transforms into an unparalleled theater by night with the help of the cruise line’s signature Roboscreens – a troupe of six agile screens that fuse performance art and technology for immersive, live theatrical productions.

Radiance Class Dazzles with Views

A popular choice among vacationers for their ocean-facing glass elevators and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide breathtaking views, two Radiance Class ships will return to the region to round out the summer season. Radiance and Serenade of the Seas will further expand Royal Caribbean’s reach with a fresh take on 7-night itineraries anchored by visits to Haines, Sitka, Ketchikan, Juneau and Seward, Alaska.

Sailing alternating, open-jaw itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, Radiance will introduce a second northbound itinerary that includes a visit to Icy Strait Point – a port owned and operated by native Alaskans – celebrated for its genuine native Tlingit hospitality, diverse landscape and active wildlife. Southbound sailings will introduce an evening call to Haines, among the Inside Passage’s most scenic towns and home to a thriving arts community. Paired with a day spent in Skagway, guests can take advantage of the long, summer daylight hours in the state’s adventure capital that is located along the continent’s longest and deepest fjord.

Sister ship Serenade, departing roundtrip from Vancouver, will similarly hero Haines with a full-day visit to the destination known for whitewater rafting and spotting the North American brown bear. Guests can also enjoy twice the ice with an itinerary that features both the Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier, and the Hubbard Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in North America.

Guests on board Serenade can extend their stay with Royal Caribbean’s signature CruiseTours, a series of 2- to 6-night pre- or post-cruise land tours led by local experts. Travelers can witness the notorious American Brown Bear hunting as part of the Katmai Bear Trek, or learn more about “The Last Great Race” and the team of sled dogs on the Family Tundra Express experience. Royal Caribbean also offers 5- to 6-night Canada CruiseTour options with visits to Banff, Calgary and more.

Oceania Cruises Sets Booking Record With 2022 Summer Season Launch
Oceania Cruises, the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line announced that the launch of its 2022 Europe & North America Collection of voyages resulted in a record-setting day for a summer season launch. The record day represented a more than 20% increase over the line's 2021 Europe & North America season launch, which occurred in August 2019.

Cruises to the Mediterranean and Baltic regions were exceptionally strong performers as were the line's longer "Grand Voyages" that span multiple weeks and, in many instances, multiple continents. More than 90% of the reservations were new, cash bookings with less than 10% using future cruise credits issued for previously cancelled voyages. Additionally, one-third of the reservations were from first-time, new-to-brand guests.

"The tremendous response from our loyal repeat guests, our travel partners, and first-time guests underscores the tremendous pent-up demand for immersive, destination-focused cruises and our acclaimed small-ship experience that features The Finest Cuisine at Sea," stated Bob Binder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceania Cruises.

With the strong demand for voyages in 2022, the line will be opening its 2023 Around the World voyage for reservations in January 2021 followed by the full season of 2022-23 winter collection of itineraries in February. In the summer of 2021, the line will open the inaugural season of the first of its highly anticipated Allura Class newbuilds for sale.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.57 - 8.73%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 75.5 + 0.09%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.275 + 10.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.31 - 0.93%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When is a Sapphire Princess not a Sapphire Princess? The current Sapphire Princess sailing for Princess Cruises had a different name when construction started. What was her original name and why did it have to be changed?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When French Line's France entered service in 1961 the Salle Des Sports (Sports' Center) on Sun Deck featured what must have been a unique shipboard diversion. What were they? (Hint: there were two of them).

Answer - When French Line's France entered service in 1961 the Salle Des Sports (Sports' Center) on Sun Deck featured bowling lanes.
courtesy of phantomfanatic1 a hotmail.com


Cruise News - November 9, 2020

Costa Deliziosa Cruises To Greece Suspended Until December 26
As a result of the measures enacted by the Greek government in response to the number of coronavirus cases that impose restrictions on travel, Costa Cruises today announced the temporary suspension of Costa Deliziosa cruises to Greece.

Costa Deliziosa – which is offering one-week cruises calling at Trieste, Katakolon, Athens, Iraklion, Bari – will end her cruise currently underway on Nov. 7, in Trieste. The ship will then pause operations for seven weeks, canceling Nov. 7, 14, 21 and 28, and Dec. 5, 12 and 19 cruises. The resumption of Costa Deliziosa operations is scheduled for Dec. 26 with an Italian itinerary to discover some of the most beautiful destinations of the Adriatic Sea and the eastern Mediterranean including Trieste, Bari, Brindisi and Catania. More destinations will be added in the coming weeks.

Costa Cruises' highest responsibility and top priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of its guests, crew, shoreside employees, and the people and communities its ships visit – and that commitment is reflected in the decision to temporarily pause Costa Deliziosa cruise operations in Greece.

The comprehensive health protocols developed by Costa Cruises in coordination with authorities and medical experts demonstrated that cruise travel with enhanced safety is possible, and since the restart on Sept. 6, Costa cruises have received a strong appreciation from guests on safety aspects.

Costa Cruises is informing guests booked on Costa Deliziosa's impacted voyages, providing them with the best offers available, in line with the relevant regulations.

Costa Smeralda, the second Costa ship currently in service, will continue her cruises dedicated to Italy as scheduled, observing the enhanced protocols introduced by the company.

Viking Cruises Announces Additional Investment from TPG and CPP Investments
Viking Cruises announced today an additional investment by its existing minority shareholders, TPG Capital and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), in Viking Holdings Ltd, the parent company of Viking Cruises.

The additional investment by TPG Capital, the private equity platform of alternative asset firm TPG, and CPP Investments, a professional investment management organization that manages the funds of the Canada Pension Plan, will result in approximately US$500 million of net proceeds being available to support Viking Cruises in its continued development.

"We are very appreciative that our shareholders from the prestigious institutions of TPG and CPP Investments are aligned with our vision for Viking's future, which is bright. Over 40 years in the cruise industry have taught me that challenging times—such as these—are often also times of great innovation and opportunity. This infusion of equity capital will prepare us for future opportunities to continue developing our business," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Earlier this week we announced that Viking will further invest in the installation of full-scale PCR laboratories on each of our ocean vessels. These new onboard facilities—a cruise industry first—will provide unprecedented and robust testing capacity, enabling Viking to conduct up to daily PCR testing of all crew members and guests. This was the first in a series of announcements we have planned in the coming weeks, including our enhanced health and safety program and initiatives that will expand Viking's global reach."

"We are excited to deepen our partnership with Tor and the entire Viking team," said Paul Hackwell, Partner at TPG Capital and Co-Head of Consumer investing. "Viking is truly a special company that continues to set the standard for the industry. We know that Viking's guests are eager to get back to safely exploring the world in comfort, and are confident that the company will continue to deliver a differentiated experience for its guests in the years to come."

"While the pandemic has posed many challenges, we have strong conviction that Viking's unique global offering in the cruise industry will continue to be sought out by many guests well into the future. CPP Investments, alongside TPG, is looking forward to supporting Viking and its management team as they return to delivering high-quality, comfortable journeys around the world and build long-term value in the business in the time to come," said Bill MacKenzie, Managing Director and Head of Active Fundamental Equities, CPP Investments.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Includes Complimentary Shore Excursion At Every Port
Catering to travelers' pent-up passion to explore again and supporting its valued travel advisor partners' efforts, Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that it will include an immersive shoreside experience, complimentary at every port for all World Navigator itineraries.

Launching in July 2021, World Navigator is Atlas' first newly constructed, small, expedition ship, which will bring guests on once-in-a-lifetime, luxe-adventure journeys with a total of 107 port calls in the Holy Land, the Black, Mediterranean, and Caribbean Seas, and South America. Worldly travelers who make a new booking from now through Dec. 31, 2020, will receive complimentary shoreside experiences and enjoy more and deeper immersions into the cultures and histories found in the remote and captivating destinations where Atlas sails. For more information about Atlas Ocean Voyages' included complimentary land immersion at every port, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

"Atlas Ocean Voyages is already one of the industry's most-inclusive luxury experiences, and we are adding more value by delivering more immersive inclusions," said Alberto Aliberti, President of the luxe-adventure cruise brand. "Experienced travelers and anyone eager to see more of the world should start at the top of their bucket list and go there on an all-inclusive, luxe-adventure Atlas expedition in 2021. With our All Inclusive All the Way commitment, we take care of the details so that guests' return-to-travel will be a safe and unforgettable experience."

Guests who take advantage of Atlas' new land immersion at every port offer can enjoy enlivening and enlightening experiences that make a memorable, all-inclusive, luxury journey. Immersive experiences include a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ancient Olympia from Katakolon, Greece; visit Zippori from Haifa, Israel, and explore this village's rich and diverse historical and archeological legacy; inspect World War II monuments and Soviet-era memorials at Novorossiysk, Russia; see St. Lucia by land and sea atop an ATV and aboard a catamaran; visit notable sites of the Falkland Island conflict of 1982, and more.

Atlas' signature All Inclusive All the Way provides guests a more worry-free experience by including emergency medical evacuation insurance for all guests, as well as complimentary round-trip air travel, prepaid gratuities, premium wine and spirits and international beers, coffees and smoothies, Wi-Fi, L'Occitane bath amenities, and Michelin-inspired dining. In every stateroom, guests enjoy binoculars to use on board, en suite coffee, tea and personalized bar service, and butler service in suites.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxury adventure, expedition cruise brand designed for worldly and fun-seeking travelers to immerse in active and awe-inspiring experiences in less-trodden, bucket-list destinations. The 9,030 gross-registered-ton World Navigator will foster a refined and convivial ambience for up to 196 guests and feature the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into her design.

Following her inaugural summer 2021 season, World Navigator will sail Antarctica expeditions in Winter 2021/22. World Navigator is Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified and her construction is on schedule for delivery in July 2021, followed by World Traveller and World Seeker in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer in 2023.

Almost 20 Percent of Travelers Think It is OK to Travel Now
News about COVID vaccines are promising, but most consumers surveyed are not waiting for a vaccine to travel and an increasing number of travelers say it OK to travel now according to a new report from Oliver Wyman.

"Vaccines are important but personal judgement is still the leading factor for deciding to travel, ahead of government restrictions and advice from the World Health Organization," said Bruce Spear, a partner with Oliver Wyman. "This means the travel industry must focus on measures that increase individual customer safety such as mandatory masks, cleaning and rapid testing and not wait for governments to issue directives."

The report, Anticipating the Travel Recovery, found several other changes in traveler behavior since the first survey was originally conducted in late April/early May. For example:

• Leisure Travel -- Interest in leisure travel remains strong and has grown since May, with 63 percent of respondents expecting to travel the same amount or more post-pandemic. While most travelers in the US, Spain, Italy, China, and Australia are planning domestic trips, travelers in Canada, UK, France, and Germany are planning international locations mostly in their home region for their next leisure trip post-COVID. The number one driver for these leisure trips globally is to visit friends and family. More than 55 percent of US respondents are more likely to visit friends and family compared to before COVID, showing pent up demand for Thanksgiving and holiday travel.

• Business Travel -- Forty-three percent of all respondents who travel for business plan to travel less in the future, a 16-point increase from May. Business travelers have gotten more comfortable with teleconferencing, but only 53 percent agree that they can develop new relationships via teleconferencing. This drops to 47 percent for business travelers under 30. While half of business travelers expect no change in trip duration, 30 percent expect to shorten their trips when possible, which will impact hotel stays.

• Modes of Transport -- Overall respondents are more comfortable with various transportation options than they were in May. Half are now comfortable taking a flight and almost 60 percent are comfortable staying at a hotel. However, less than a third are comfortable using public transportation or ride sharing. In the US, over 40 percent of respondents are still uncomfortable using public transportation or rideshare.

• Cruises – Back in May, the cruise industry was still reeling from news of passengers quarantined at sea. Since then, the gap between cruises and other experiences involving significant interaction with others has closed. Respondents now feel as comfortable taking a cruise as attending a convention or going to a concert or sporting event. Past cruisers are more comfortable than first timers.

The survey also asked people about actual travel they have done during the pandemic. Overall, 31 percent have traveled by air and 24 percent by train (more than 2 hours) since March. Sixty percent of these trips were primarily for leisure.

Half of travelers (51 percent) were excited to travel; while only a quarter reported being reluctant. Almost 80 percent of those who traveled were satisfied with most components of their experience including check-in, security, boarding process, passenger and crew PPE. Travelers from the US and China had an average satisfaction rating of over 80 percent across their journeys. Travelers were less impressed with food and beverage and airport/station retail because many of these amenities have been nearly eliminated.

Price remains the number one factor for consumer choice, followed by cleaning policies and treatment of travelers. The exception is in China, where aircraft cleaning policies and treatment by the airline outrank price. Travelers view cleaning and mask mandates as the most important health and safety measures, but 40 percent would still like to see an empty seat next to them on planes and trains.

"As we continue to adjust to our new COVID reality, travel providers will see a shift in their core customer base due to reduced business demand," said Jessica Stansbury, a partner with Oliver Wyman. "Leisure travel will continue to drive the recovery and addressing new customer expectations will be critical. There is no wiggle room for travel companies when it comes to defining, communicating and enforcing policies for cleanliness and ensuring safety."

Methodology

Oliver Wyman conducted its second global survey of travelers in September and October to capture how views of travel are changing as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. The survey involved more than 4,600 people across nine countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, United States), all of whom had flown at least once in 2019. A third also have traveled by air and/or rail in the past six months.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.25 + 42.07%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 75.43 + 32.29%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.25 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.51 + 33.02%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When French Line's France entered service in 1961 the Salle Des Sports (Sports' Center) on Sun Deck featured what must have been a unique shipboard diversion. What were they? (Hint: there were two of them).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
It's been a long time since a cruise ship or ocean liner was built in a United States ship yard. The last pair was built in the 1950's. What were the names of these ships and what line did they sail for?

Answer - It were the Santa Rosa and Santa Paula of the Grace Line: The liners inaugurated their service to the Caribbean in 1958. They were withdrawn in 1971.
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselm


Cruise News - November 2, 2020

Silversea Cruises Takes Delivery Of Silver Moon
Silversea Cruises today took delivery of new ship Silver Moon—the ninth vessel in the cruise line's fleet.

During an intimate celebration held at Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, executives from Silversea Cruises, the Royal Caribbean Group, and Fincantieri expressed gratitude to all involved: delivering live speeches via video feed, Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group, and Jason Liberty, Executive Vice President and CFO of the Royal Caribbean Group, each commended the more than 1,000 craftspeople who contributed to the build. Present in Ancona, Luigi Matarazzo—Fincantieri's General Manager Merchant Ships Division—and Roberto Martinoli—Silversea's President and CEO—addressed attendees, before Martinoli penned his signature to officially take delivery of the ship.

Giovanni Stecconi, the Director of Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, subsequently presented Captain Alessandro Zanello, Silver Moon's Master—who was also at the helm for the delivery Silver Moon's sister ship, Silver Muse, in 2017—with a commemorative ampoule that contained seawater from the launch. Concluding Silver Moon's delivery, those present raised a glass of champagne, while respecting physical distancing protocol, to welcome the ship to Silversea's fleet.

"I congratulate all those involved in the build of Silver Moon; it is a proud moment for everybody at Silversea Cruises, the Royal Caribbean Group, and Fincantieri," says Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group. "This beautiful ship represents the resilience of the global cruise industry and it is encouraging to see such innovation and progress in this challenging period. I have long said that Silversea Cruises is the jewel in the crown of the Royal Caribbean Group and I am today reminded of the cruise line's quality. Silver Moon represents the pinnacle of luxury travel; I look forward to welcoming our guests aboard in the near future."

"We are absolutely delighted to welcome Silver Moon to the Silversea fleet. The epitome of 21st-century luxury travel, she possesses a number of innovations that will build on the success of her sister ship Silver Muse, such as our pioneering new S.A.L.T. culinary programme, which we are eager for our guests to experience," says Martinoli. "Every exquisite detail of Silver Moon is an expression of our successful collaboration with one of the world's premier shipbuilders. It is apt that Silver Moon was built here in Italy, a cradle of luxury and a country celebrated for its rich culinary heritage. I thank Fincantieri's leadership team and the more than 1,000 talented craftspeople who overcame the unprecedented challenges of 2020 to make this delivery possible. I also thank Royal Caribbean Group for their invaluable support; Silver Moon is a testament to the success of our collaboration."

"Silver Moon is the third of Silversea's ultra-luxury cruise ships to result from our longstanding, successful collaboration, and we at Fincantieri take great pride in handing over a ship that embodies the highest standards of style, comfort, and whispered luxury," says Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. "We are honoured to have partnered with Silversea in launching their highly successful Muse-class ships, and we are confident that Silver Moon will strengthen the line's legacy of pushing boundaries in luxury cruise travel."

S.A.L.T. Programme: Immersive Culinary Enrichment

Debuting aboard Silver Moon is the innovative new culinary enrichment programme S.A.L.T., an acronym of Sea and Land Taste, which will enable guests to travel deeper through a range of destination-focused gastronomic experiences—both on-board and ashore.

As part of the S.A.L.T. programme, three new venues will unlock immersive culinary experiences for guests on Silver Moon, forming a hub of culinary discovery on Deck 4:

• Among the largest of eight restaurants aboard Silver Moon, S.A.L.T. Kitchen is the first large-scale regional restaurant aboard a luxury cruise ship, offering a menu that changes with the destination and a regionally inspired wine list;

• S.A.L.T. Lab is a test kitchen that enables guests to learn about local ingredients and artisanal techniques, through insightful workshops, tastings, and demonstrations;

• and S.A.L.T. Bar allows guests to sample the most authentic flavours of the destination, through a large selection of regional wines, spirits, and other drinks.

Enhanced Public Spaces

At 40,700 gross tons and with a maximum capacity of just 596 guests, Silver Moon takes influence from the successful design of her sister ship, Silver Muse, and maintains the small-ship intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodations that are hallmarks of the Silversea experience. At the same time, a number of public spaces have been reimagined for the enjoyment of guests, including the following sample:

• Serving fine French cuisine in an elegant atmosphere, Silversea's signature restaurant, La Dame, has been redesigned and enlarged to accommodate 56 guests, with the option to dine outdoors. Bespoke Lalique crystal panels have been incorporated into the restaurant's design to enrich the space's aesthetic.

• Guests' favourite Atlantide restaurant has been enlarged and enriched to accommodate up to 220 guests.

• Minimalist yet sophisticated, the enhanced design of Kaiseki takes inspiration from the best sushi restaurants in the world. Here, guests will witness expert sushi chefs in action, as they prepare fresh sushi, sashimi and other Asian-inspired dishes that are inspired by the seasons.

• The popular Dolce Vita lounge has a new layout with the bar repositioned to the centre of the venue. Dolce Vita will welcome guests as both a sophisticated bar during the daytime and as an enchanting piano bar by night.

• The Connoisseur's Corner now features a new Wintergarden area, creating a sheltered and inviting area outdoors. In the Connoisseur's Corner, guests will enjoy a selection of cigars and premium liquors in a sophisticated atmosphere.

Enriched with elegant décor, premium materials, and luxurious amenities, Silver Moon's 298 spacious suites benefit from one of the highest space-to-guest ratios of any luxury cruise accommodation, offering superlative comfort to guests—a characteristic feature of the Silversea experience. And, with bespoke, handcrafted luxury beds by Savoir enriching the ship's top 10 suites—four Owner's Suites, four Grand Suites, and two Royal Suites—guests in these accommodations will experience a distinctive level of comfort even as they sleep. Guests in every suite will enjoy the dedicated service of a butler, as well as an in-suite bar, stocked with preferred beverages; in-suite dining, available 24 hours per day; and various other luxurious amenities.

CLIA Statement Regarding CDC's Conditional Sailing Order
Cruise Lines International Association has issued the following statement in response to the CDC's "Framework for Conditional Sailing Order."

Guided by the recommendations of leading experts in health and science, including the Healthy Sail Panel (HSP), our members are 100% committed to helping to protect the health of our guests, our crew and the communities we serve, and are prepared to implement multiple layers of protocols informed by the latest scientific and medical knowledge. We will continue to evolve our approach as circumstances evolve. The economic consequences of the ongoing suspension of service are felt in communities across the United States and with hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake, we are committed to resume sailing in a responsible manner that keeps public health in the forefront. We look forward to reviewing the Order in greater detail and working with the CDC to advance a return to cruising from U.S. ports.

CLIA members have been in a voluntary suspension of operations from U.S. ports for over seven months. In that time, CLIA member cruise lines have worked with leading outside experts in health and science to develop science-based measures to further strengthen public health protocols and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 for passengers, crews and destinations. With enhanced measures in place—including 100% testing for passengers and crew prior to boarding, mask-wearing, physical distancing requirements, highly controlled shore excursions and many more—CLIA members have gradually resumed sailing in Europe and other parts of the world with success.

CLIA president and CEO Kelly Craighead gave the following quote:

"While we look forward to reviewing the new Order in detail, we expect much of the Healthy Sail Panel's recommendations, which were adopted by CLIA's Global of Directors earlier this month, have been considered and will serve as an important foundation. The cruise industry and the CDC have a long track record of working together in the interest of public health, and we look forward to continuing to build upon this legacy to support the resumption of cruising from U.S. ports. With enhanced measures in place, and with the continued guidance of leading experts in health and science as well as the CDC, we are confident that a resumption of cruising in the U.S. is possible to support the economic recovery while maintaining a focus on effective and science-based measures to protect public health."

Viking Announces Completion Of First PCR Laboratory At Sea On The Viking Star
Viking announced today that it has completed installation of the first full-scale PCR laboratory at sea. This new onboard facility – an industry first – allows for unprecedented testing capacity in the cruise industry, enabling Viking to conduct PCR testing of all crew members and guests with a non-invasive saliva test. The laboratory has enough capacity for daily testing of every crew member and guest, which provides flexibility to respond to COVID-19 prevalence levels around the world.

This first laboratory has been installed on Viking Star, the company's award-winning 930-guest ocean vessel; it will undergo a series of extensive tests to ensure the procedures and protocols that have been designed are fully effective.

"We have been working on this for a number of months, and today is important as it moves us one step closer to operating cruises again, without compromising the safety of our guests and crew. The recently announced CDC guidelines are clearly aligned with our public health research, and we welcome the agency's push toward testing, as we believe this is the only way to safely operate. In our view, continuous PCR testing, along with our extensive onboard hygiene protocols, will lead to making Viking ships a safe place to get away to and explore the world," said Matt Grimes, Vice President of Maritime Operations for Viking.

Viking will be demonstrating the PCR laboratory, as well as new design and operating procedures, when the Viking Star comes to Oslo, Norway in mid-November.

Carnival Corporation's North American Brands Extend Pause in Cruise Operations
Carnival Corporation today announced that its North American cruise line brands will extend their existing pause in operations, suspending cruise voyages between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.

With operations in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia, Carnival Corporation's portfolio features Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises ( Australia), Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard.

"Our highest responsibility and top priorities are always compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the people in communities we touch, our crew and shoreside employees," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. "We continue to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and global government and public health authorities, as well as top medical and science experts around the globe, on a comprehensive plan for the eventual restart of cruising in North America. With their collective guidance, we have developed and continue to update our enhanced health and safety protocols that are in the best interest of our guests, crew and overall public health. Whenever we restart our cruise operations in the U.S., we certainly look forward to welcoming our guests on board."

Individually, each brand has been communicating and will continue to communicate with guests to provide updates and direction regarding affected cruise vacations.

The date for restarting cruise operations will be communicated by each respective brand and available on their websites.

The company and its brands are also notifying crew members, travel professionals and other stakeholders.

Royal Caribbean Announces Winter 2021-22 Redeployment
Royal Caribbean International today provides an update to its 2021-22 winter sailings, which includes new itineraries in the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand. The adapted schedule – informed by market research and valuable feedback from guests and travel partners around the world – adds variety in departure ports and itinerary length. Guests will have even more choices in the Caribbean with ships sailing from the most popular cruise ports across Florida and Texas. In Australia, vacationers can choose from three ships sailing throughout the South Pacific and New Zealand.

The new itineraries combined with Royal Caribbean ships and crew will deliver the signature vacation experience that guests know and love. Most importantly, the global cruise line is applying the best available public health, science and engineering insights to deliver a safer and healthier cruise vacation.

Guests with confirmed bookings between October 2021 and March 2022 whose cruises are affected by these changes will be notified directly.

Australia and New Zealand

• Ovation of the Seas will remain in Sydney with all-new itineraries. The ship will traverse the Tasman Sea, sailing 9- to 12-night itineraries to New Zealand; 5- and 7-night itineraries to Queensland, Australia; and 6- and 8-night itineraries to Tasmania, Australia.

• Quantum of the Seas is now slated to sail from Brisbane, Australia, offering a variety of cruises that range from 3-night weekday getaways to 7- to 9-night adventures throughout the South Pacific.

• Serenade of the Seas will make the voyage from Vancouver, British Columbia to Sydney, which will be her homeport through February 2022. Guests can choose to embark on 12- to 15-night cruises around the South Pacific to Fiji and New Zealand, or take a short break in Melbourne and around the east coast of Australia. The Bahamas and Caribbean

• Allure of the Seas, previously set to make her Galveston, Texas debut, will now sail from Fort Lauderdale to offer 6-night Western and 8-night Eastern Caribbean cruises.

• Explorer of the Seas, originally scheduled to sail from Miami, will call San Juan, Puerto Rico home for the season and sail 7-night Southern Caribbean itineraries.

• Freedom of the Seas will move from San Juan to the world’s cruise capital of Miami with more 3- and 4-night short Caribbean escapes to The Bahamas and the cruise line’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

• Radiance of the Seas, originally planned to sail from Brisbane, Australia, will now embark on 5- and 9-night sailings from Miami.

Vacation as Planned Royal Caribbean’s other winter 2021-22 cruises will sail on as planned in the Caribbean, Australia and Asia-Pacific. Visiting more than 200 destinations in over 50 countries with 27 ships in 2021-22, the cruise line’s winter highlights bring variety, convenience and adventure to next year’s highly anticipated vacations. Winter 2021-22 calls for a family reunion in Florida, bringing together all four Oasis Class ships – Oasis, Symphony, Harmony and Allure of the Seas – for 7-night adventures to the Caribbean, The Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay. Royal Amplified ships Mariner, Independence and Navigator of the Seas offer short getaways to the same crystal blue waters and white-sand beaches. Caribbean vacations will also be within driving distance from the Northeast and the Lonestar state with Anthem of the Seas sailing from Bayonne, New Jersey, and Adventure and Liberty of the Seas sailing from Galveston.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.55 - 3.42%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 57.02 - 2.13%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.25 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.17 - 3.75%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
It's been a long time since a cruise ship or ocean liner was built in a United States ship yard. The last pair was built in the 1950's. What were the names of these ships and what line did they sail for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which commercial steamship company handled the passenger and cargo operations for the N/S SAVANNAH, America's only nuclear powered merchant vessel?

Answer - The initial commercial operator, in 1962, of NS Savannah was States Marine Line. In 1963 operation was transferred to American Export Lines, subsequently American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines.
courtesy of Peter Pinner UK


Cruise News - October 26, 2020

Costa Cruises Announces 2021-2022 Season in South America
Costa Cruises today presented its programs for the 2021-2022 season in South America during an online conference led by Dario Rustico, the brand's general manager for Central and South America.

For its restart in South America, the Italian cruise line will introduce two exciting developments: its new flagship Costa Toscana will make her debut in Brazil, and Costa Favolosa will extend her season to almost five months.

"The arrival of Costa Toscana is a historic moment for Costa Cruises, for the entire cruise industry and for Brazil," said Rustico. "The debut in Brazil of our most innovative ship strengthens the special 72-year long bond between Costa Cruises and South America. Costa Toscana promises to be a highly popular attraction in 2022, enabling our guests to enjoy memorable experiences, five-star dining, high-tech entertainment, and the pure joy and relaxation that comes with being on the open sea."

Costa Toscana is currently under construction at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland. With gross tonnage of over 180,000 tons and more than 2,600 staterooms, including a new cabin category with balcony and terrace, she is the sistership to the recently introduced Costa Smeralda. As with her sister ship, Costa Toscana will retain the inimitable Italian hospitality that has been Costa Cruises' hallmark since the brand's inception, providing great holiday experiences for its guests, whether new to cruise or among the brand's large number of loyal cruisers.

The inaugural cruise of Costa Toscana will include New Year's Eve, as it will depart from Santos on 26 December 2021 for a seven-night holiday to Salvador and Ilhéus, returning to Santos on 2 January 2022 for what will be an unprecedented moment in the history of the Brazilian cruise industry.

From 2 January to 10 April 2022, Costa Toscana will offer another 15 cruises with the same itinerary, with embarkation in Santos and Salvador. The 15 cruises also include Carnival and Easter departures. The latter will be the last tour of the ship before the Brazil-Italy crossing, departing from Santos on 17 April 2022.

Starting 20 November 2021, Costa Favolosa will be cruising in South America for 144 days, almost five months, the longest season in the history of Costa Cruises in the region. The ship will offer five cruises, from three to six nights, calling at Búzios, Salvador, Ilhabela and Balneário Camboriú, with embarkation from Santos.

From 13 December 2021 to April 2022, Costa Favolosa will depart from Rio de Janeiro for her traditional "Prata" itinerary. A total of 15 eight-night cruises will be available, with embarkation – for the first time – in Itajaí, in addition to Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Costa holidays in the Prata region also include Christmas, New Year's Eve and Carnival. This itinerary will allow guests to visit popular destinations, such as the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Ilhabela, Itajaí, Montevideo (Uruguay) and Buenos Aires (Argentina). Costa Favolosa's New Year's itinerary will maintain her traditional New Year's Eve stop at Copacabana beach and its fireworks display.

The 2021-2022 season will also be marked by the Italy-Brazil and Brazil-Italy crossings on board Costa Favolosa. These cruises allow tourists to visit different places in the world at once. Departing from Savona on 2 November 2021 for an 18-night tour, Costa Favolosa will visit the charming destinations of Marseille, Barcelona, Malaga, Casablanca and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in addition to the Brazilian cities of Recife, Salvador, Ilhéus and Rio de Janeiro. Her return cruise to Europe will start on 16 April 2022 from Rio de Janeiro for a 15-night voyage calling at Salvador, Maceió, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Malaga and Barcelona before reaching Savona on 1 May 2022.

Costa Toscana will be representing a tribute to the very best of Italy and especially Tuscany, one of Italy's loveliest and most popular regions. On board all the decks and public areas are named after – and designed based on – iconic Italian places. The food and wine offerings on board will feature the finest Italian culinary traditions, with the collaboration of prestigious partner suppliers fostering the best of Italian culinary traditions. The ship will have 13 different restaurants, 18 bars, a splendid spa area with 16 treatment rooms, an onboard waterpark with waterslides, four pools and a dedicated facility for kids.

Brazilian travelers already had the chance to become familiar with Costa Favolosa, as she has previously sailed in South American waters. Inspired by the fantastic universe of a fairy tale, Costa Favolosa resembles an enchanted castle and the works of art reproduce the great palaces of the world. With more than 1,500 staterooms, the ship brings together the spa wellness center (with fitness center, spas, swimming pools and thalassotherapy, treatment rooms, sauna, Turkish bath, UVA solarium, cabins and suites). Other features include Cinema 4D, four swimming pools, five restaurants, 13 bars, theater, water slide, casino, sports court and children's club.

Princess Cruises Advances Transition of Golden Princess and Star Princess to P&O Cruises Australia
Princess Cruises today confirmed the official transfer of Golden Princess and the accelerated transition of Star Princess to P&O Cruises Australia. Previously announced in 2018, the two vessels will now debut as Pacific Adventure (Golden Princess) and Pacific Encounter (Star Princess) anticipated to sail in 2021.

"Golden Princess and Star Princess have sailed all over the world, creating lifelong memories for the millions of guests who sailed upon these beloved cruise ships," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "We know their wonderful legacy will continue under sister brand P&O Cruises Australia, which has become so well-known for delivering unforgettable cruise holidays for Aussies and Kiwis to some of the most idyllic destinations in the South Pacific."

Golden Princess first joined the fleet in May 2001 with her sister ship Star Princess setting sail the following year in January 2002. Both Golden Princess and Star Princess played an instrumental role in the evolution of Princess.

The ships offered guests plenty of opportunities to customize their vacation experience through an unstructured approach called Personal Choice Cruising. One of the key elements of this program was Princess innovative Personal Choice Dining, which was the only dining program in the industry at the time to give passengers freedom to dine where, when and with whom they wish. Passengers could choose between Anytime Dining, where they could dine in one of the main dining rooms when and with whom they want, and Traditional Dining with an assigned dining time, tablemates and wait staff. Both ships were also amongst the first to feature the line’s popular Lotus Spa and Fitness Centers.

In addition, all guests enjoyed the special privacy afforded by the ships’ more than 710 balcony staterooms, a Princess trademark. Throughout the years, both ships were modernized with signature features Princess is known for, including Movies Under the Stars, The Sanctuary adults-only retreat, the Piazza, and specialty restaurants Sabatini’s and Crown Grill.

Guests with bookings will be notified, and along with their travel advisors, and will receive information on how to book another Princess Cruise when operations resume. Guests who prefer a refund will be accommodated.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces New 2022-2023 Voyage Collection
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has revealed its brand new 2022-2023 Voyage Collection featuring exotic and iconic destinations, allowing guests to explore the world while enjoying an unrivaled experience with every luxury included.

The thoughtfully curated Voyage Collection consists of 148 sailings from April 2022 to the end of April 2023 across Africa and Arabia, Alaska, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Canada and New England, the Caribbean and Panama Canal, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and South America, as well as transoceanic crossings and five Grand Voyages.

Sailings range from 7 nights up to the recently announced 143-night 2023 World Cruise. The Voyage Collection boasts 17 maiden ports of call for the line and 105 overnight visits.

Highlights include Seven Seas Splendor's summer season in Scandinavia and the Baltics; Seven Seas Explorer in the Mediterranean discovering Turkey and Black Sea ports; Seven Seas Voyager's tour of Africa and her winter season in South America which includes a sailing to Antarctica; Seven Seas Mariner's Alaskan summer and 2023 World Cruise; and Seven Seas Navigator's Grand Arctic Adventure and Caribbean cruises which feature two voyages from Bridgetown, Barbados. More detailed information about the ships' individual deployments can be found below.

Opportunities for truly immersive and unforgettable luxury travel vacations abound with access to over 350 UNESCO World Heritage Sites across thousands of FREE unlimited shore excursions in the Voyage Collection. In addition, 36 sailings in Africa, Arabia, Australia, Asia and South America offer FREE pre- or post-land tour programs which, varying from 2 to 3 nights, give travelers more time to experience the regions' sights, history, culture and flavors.

"Launching a new Voyage Collection is always exciting, however knowing our guests' strong desire to get back on the oceans, as illustrated by our record breaking 2023 World Cruise launch, makes this one feel extra special," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "Our guests are passionate about travel and exploring the world and I'm delighted that we can offer them such an exotic and expansive choice of global destinations, all to be discovered while sailing on board The World's Most Luxurious Fleet."

The unrivaled Regent experience continues onboard their five elegant and spacious ships with highly personalized service, exquisite dining, premium beverages, WiFi, valet laundry and more, all complimentary.

Princess Cruises Announces Extension of Pause of Operations in Australia through End of May 2021
Due to the uncertainty about when international travel restrictions might be lifted, Princess Cruises is extending its pause in operations for cruises departing from Australia and New Zealand through May 31, 2021.

Guests will receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare paid. To receive the above FCCs, no action is required by the guest or their travel advisor.

Alternatively, guests can forfeit the bonus FCC offer and request a refund for all money paid on their booking by using this online form. Guests have until November 30, 2020, to elect a refund, or they will automatically receive the default offer listed above.

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full, in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

Costa Cruises Completes Italy's First LNG Bunkering Operation
Costa Cruises today announced another milestone for Costa Smeralda, the line's first ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), with an LNG bunkering operation successfully performed on October 25 for the first time in Italy. Carried out in the port of La Spezia and completed at 6:00 pm, the operation was supported by the Italian Coast Guard, Port Authority of Eastern Ligurian Sea, local authorities and Shell, which is the LNG supplier partner for Costa Group and its parent company, Carnival Corporation.

The operation took place with the ship berthed at "Molo Garibaldi" pier, where the bunkering vessel Coral Methane was positioned alongside (bow to bow) Costa Smeralda, under the supervision of the Italian Coast Guard and in coordination with all parties involved and the crews of Costa Smeralda and Coral Methane.

"As part of our deep commitment to sustainability, we are proud to have our LNG-powered flagship Costa Smeralda mark this milestone for Italy and the port of La Spezia," said Franco Porcellacchia, vice president of sustainable innovation and infrastructure development for Costa Group. "Carnival Corporation and Costa were the first cruise operator to invest in sustainable innovation with LNG-powered ship technology and we continue to be committed to ensuring the highest environmental standards for a more sustainable future of cruising."

"With the LNG bunkering that took place in La Spezia, we also marked the 50th successful operation for a Costa Group ship," said Tom Strang, senior vice president of maritime affairs for Carnival Corporation. "This is another important milestone that we have achieved by working together with our partners, as we continue to demonstrate Carnival Corporation's commitment to sustainability and developing the most advanced fuel technologies available today. We are at the forefront of advancing LNG as a fuel source for the cruise industry and we are working to build an extensive, safe and reliable LNG infrastructure for cruise ships around the globe."

"The goal of our working group was to implement appropriate rules and procedures to ensure the highest safety standards, starting with navigation, environmental protection, fire prevention and workplace safety," said Giovanni Stella, captain of La Spezia Coast Guard. "Every prescription adopted was duly observed and we are particularly satisfied that the operation had a regular evolution. Thanks to this positive experience, we believe that other maritime authorities can implement the regulation we have defined in order to increase the LNG distribution infrastructure in Italian ports, as indicated by the Italian and European regulations."

"A very important milestone was reached for the first time in our country, once again right in the port of La Spezia," said Carla Roncallo, president of the Port Authority of Eastern Ligurian Sea. "I would like to thank in particular the La Spezia Coast Guard and the Maritime Directorate of Liguria, who together with Costa Cruises made this operation possible, always keeping safety at the first place."

Costa Smeralda is the first LNG-powered ship in the Costa Cruises fleet, and will be followed by Costa Toscana, the sister LNG ship scheduled to be delivered in late 2021. Another LNG ship, AIDAnova from AIDA Cruises, has been operating within the Costa Group fleet since 2018 and she will be followed by other two sister vessels by 2023.

As part of the overall Carnival Corporation fleet, a third LNG-powered ship, P&O Cruises UK's Iona, was recently delivered. LNG, the marine industry's most advanced fuel technology, significantly improves overall air emissions with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and a 95% to 100% reduction in particulate matter. The use of LNG also significantly reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide by 85% and 20%, respectively.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.03 - 0.85%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 58.26 - 2.43%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.25 - 3.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.80 + 2.13%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which commercial steamship company handled the passenger and cargo operations for the N/S SAVANNAH, America's only nuclear powered merchant vessel?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Holland America's Rotterdam of 1959 had a unique central staircase that allowed first class and tourist class passengers to use the the stairs at the same time without ever meeting each other. How was this feat accomplished and what was the inspiration for this design feature?

Answer - The Rotterdam of 1959 had a staircase that comprised of two inter-spiralling staircases that allowed both first class and tourist class to travel vertically and permitted them to access their own grade of deck. This feature was copied from the Chateau de Chambord in France .
courtesy of Les Grant


Cruise News - October 19, 2020

MSC Magnifica Is Second MSC Ship To Return to Service In Italy
MSC Magnifica departed Genoa, Italy yesterday and became the second MSC Cruises ship to welcome guests back on board since Europe’s leading cruise line restarted operations in August.

The ship has commenced a stunning 10-night voyage of relaxation and discovery in the West and East Mediterranean Sea with planned calls at the port of Livorno for visits to Florence and Pisa, Messina in Sicily, Piraeus for Athens, Katakolon for Olympia, Valletta in Malta, and Civitavecchia for Rome, before returning to Genoa. MSC Magnifica will operate six enriched, long Mediterranean cruises before the end of the year, including a special 8-night Christmas voyage that will depart Genoa on 18 December.

This is the second ship to implement MSC Cruises’ comprehensive health and safety protocol, that has been endorsed by external medical experts and formally approved by the relevant national and regional authorities. The comprehensive safety-first measures designed to protect the wellbeing of guests, crew and communities visited were first implemented in August when MSC Grandiosa became the world’s first major cruise vessel to return to service and the Company’s flagship has now completed nine 7-night voyages and positively demonstrated the protocol’s effectiveness. The measures include protected “social bubble” ashore visits for guests to allow them to also enjoy destinations at each port of call.

The MSC Cruises health and safety protocol includes universal health screening of everyone – guests and crew – which includes tests for COVID-19 before they can board a ship; elevated sanitation and cleaning measures throughout the vessel; managed social distancing; wearing of face masks in public areas and technology to aid track and trace on board.

In this initial phase, the ship’s capacity has also been reduced to 70 per cent to ensure social distancing can be guaranteed on board.

Carnival Sensation Assists Small Craft in Distress
On Saturday, Carnival Sensation came to the aid of a small craft which was in distress in international waters 37 miles off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla.

Upon seeing the boat in the water, Carnival Sensation maneuvered alongside the craft and provided blankets, life jackets, food and water to the 24 people on board which included individuals from various nationalities and two children.

The boat began taking on water and Carnival Sensation rescued all 24 individuals and brought them on board. They were evaluated by Carnival Sensation’s medical team and were quarantined away from crew members.

All appropriate authorities, including the United States Coast Guard (USCG), were notified and the USCG dispatched a cutter to the scene to retrieve the 24 individuals.

Carnival Cruise Line is currently in a pause in its operations with ships at minimum non-operational manning status with limited crew members and no guests on board.

AIDA Cruises to Restart Cruise Operations This Saturday
Germany-based AIDA Cruises will resume cruise operations in Italy this Saturday, Oct. 17, becoming the second Carnival Corporation brand to resume sailing, following the return of Italy-based Costa Cruises in early September.

The resumption of sailing from AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises is part of a gradual, phased-in approach by Carnival Corporation to restart operations regionally with limited itineraries, adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed in coordination with government and health authorities to follow shoreside mitigation guidelines.

AIDA Cruises will initially resume its cruise operations in Italy with AIDAblu, scheduled to depart from Civitavecchia near Rome on seven-day itineraries visiting Palermo and Catania in Sicily, Naples and La Spezia. The first cruise for the brand is set to begin Oct. 17, with voyages offered weekly until Nov. 28.

The restart plans for AIDA Cruises build on the momentum of Costa Cruises' return to cruise operations in Italy in early September, which began with two initial ships departing from Trieste and Genoa on seven-day itineraries with Italian guests visiting destinations in Italy. Costa Cruises further expanded on Oct. 10 with a third ship, flagship Costa Smeralda, sailing on one-week itineraries dedicated to the rediscovery of the best of Italy, including Savona, La Spezia, Cagliari, Naples, Messina and Civitavecchia.

In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises have developed a comprehensive set of enhanced health protocols to help facilitate a safe return to cruise vacations. Both brands are providing guests with detailed information about enhanced health protocols, which will continue to be modeled after shoreside health and mitigation guidelines as defined by each brand's respective country, and approved by the flag state, Italy. Protocols will be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies.

"For all our brands, there is no higher responsibility and no higher priority than compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, our crew and the communities we visit," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "We are excited to have AIDA joining Costa Cruises in resuming sailing operations with a gradual expansion of service over time. As we offer travelers a phased return to cruise vacations, we will continue sharing important learnings and best practices among our world-leading cruise line brands and across the industry to help ensure the resumption of cruise operations is done with the best interests of public health at the forefront."

Based on health and mitigation guidelines in Germany and Italy, the AIDA health and safety program will be implemented on all of the brand's cruises, with measures encompassing the entirety of the cruise experience, from booking to disembarkation. Developed with leading medical experts, the program has been audited and confirmed by the renowned independent auditing company SGS Institut Fresenius and the classification society DNV-GL.

The measures include guests and crew being tested for COVID-19 with negative results required prior to boarding. Other protocols include regular temperature and health checks for guests and crew, physical distancing guidelines, facial coverings, capacity controls and increased sanitization measures, as well as guided shore excursions managed by AIDA to maintain health protocols.

Swan Hellenic Orders Third Vega Class Ship
Swan Hellenic and Helsinki Shipyard have entered into a contractual agreement for a third Vega Class expedition cruise vessel.

The brand unveiled plans to return to operations in 2021 earlier this year.

Larger than its sister ships and designed to sail to all continents, the third ship will be a five-star polar PC6 ice-class vessel at 125 metres in length. Accommodating 192 guests in 96 spacious cabins and suites, the vast majority with large balconies, it will be operated by an onboard team of 140.

Featuring a 4.6 megawatt diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction, three-megawatt max. battery package and ice-strengthened hull, the new ship will not only be able to reach the most remote and inaccessible corners of the world, but also do so in almost total silence under battery power.

The procurement of the main equipment has already begun, with all three Vega ships being built at Helsinki Shipyard following a fast-track schedule.

The timing was confirmed as realistic when the keel laying ceremony of the first Vega ship took place on schedule in September despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the ceremony it was announced that Vega 1 would be christened SH Minerva in honour of the company’s first purpose-built vessel, named after the Roman goddess of creativity and wisdom.

With the three Vega ships scheduled for delivery in November next year, April 2022 and year-end 2022, Swan Hellenic is demonstrating solid confidence both in the strength and resilience of the high-end cruise market.

Swan Hellenic chief executive, Andrea Zito, confirmed: “We see the increase in demand for experiences that are truly out of the ordinary and are confident in the bounce back of our industry.”

Six Holland America Line Ships Offer Alaska and Glacier Bay Cruises in 2021
In 2021, Holland America Line will offer a full season of cruises and Land+Sea Journeys that showcase the cruise line's more-than 70 years of experience, insider knowledge and preferred access. From April through September, six ships will take guests on authentic Alaska experiences throughout the Great Land.

Guests can embark on Holland America Line's cruises to Alaska aboard Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam and Volendam. Itineraries sail roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, or one-way between Whitter (Anchorage), Alaska, and Vancouver.

"We're seeing strong interest for next summer's Alaska season as people anticipate being able to get out again, travel and spend time with family and friends," said Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line's president. "Alaska has a natural beauty and an aura that are unmatched, and it's right in our backyard. If you want to have an immersive experience, see Glacier Bay and go up to the Yukon, no one does it better than Holland America Line. We're ready to return with plenty of options for everybody from couples to multi-generational families."

Alaska's awe-inspiring glaciers and Glacier Bay National Park are best viewed from sea and Holland America Line offers the most itineraries to Glacier Bay National Park than any other cruise line. Every Alaska cruise includes a visit to one more of Alaska's iconic glacier destinations: Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier and the Twin Sawyer Glaciers of Tracy Arm. New and Notable for 2021

• The Pinnacle Class Koningsdam returns to Alaska with seven-day "Inside Passage" itineraries roundtrip from Vancouver and Land+Sea Journeys. Holland America Line is the only cruise line with seven-day roundtrip itineraries from Vancouver that include Glacier Bay National Park

• New for 2021, seven-day "Glacier Discovery Northbound" and "Glacier Discovery Southbound" itineraries cruise between Whittier, Alaska, and Vancouver aboard Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam. Cruises include two glacier experiences to Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier or College Fjords and ports of call to Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska

• Seven-day "Alaska Inside Passage" itineraries cruise roundtrip from Vancouver, aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Volendam. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway

• Seven-day "Alaskan Explorer" itineraries cruise roundtrip from Seattle aboard Eurodam and Oosterdam, and include calls at Victoria, British Columbia; and Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka

• Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Volendam will offer Land+Sea Journeys ranging from nine to 18 days

• Eight world-renowned chefs guide and influence every aspect of the onboard dining experience, including Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine by Seattle's Ethan Stowell

• All ships cruising in Alaska feature expanded onboard programming. Guests can engage with an Alaska naturalist, and cruises with Glacier Bay bring on a National Park Ranger and Huna native speaker. Special presentations explore distinctly local topics such as Alaska's bush pilots and the famous Iditarod race

For explorers who want to travel further into the Great Land, 15 different Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Alaska cruise with an inland exploration to spend more time – up to three nights – at Denali National Park and Preserve, the crown jewel of Alaska's interior. Holland America Line is the only cruise line that extends land tour options all the way to Dawson City, the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush, and the unspoiled reaches of the Yukon Territory. Every journey includes a train ride into Alaska's interior on Holland America Line's iconic glass-domed McKinley Explorer.

Royal Caribbean Group Announces Closing of Offering of 8,333,333 Shares of Common Stock
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) (the "Company") today announced that it has closed its underwritten public offering of 8,333,333 shares of common stock of the Company at a price of $60.00 per share. The Company expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

The Company also announced by separate press release that it has closed its previously announced private offering to eligible purchasers of $500.0 million aggregate principal amount of 2.875% senior convertible notes due 2023. Nothing contained herein shall constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the convertible notes.

Morgan Stanley and BofA Securities acted as joint lead book-running managers for the offering of common stock. Citigroup, DNB Markets, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, HSBC, J.P. Morgan and SEB also acted as book-running managers for the offering of common stock. A shelf registration statement relating to the shares of common stock has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and has become effective. The offering was made only by means of a prospectus supplement and an accompanying base prospectus.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.15 - 6.97%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 59.71 - 14.49%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.26 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.45 - 9.02%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Holland America's Rotterdam of 1959 had a unique central staircase that allowed first class and tourist class passengers to use the the stairs at the same time without ever meeting each other. How was this feat accomplished and what was the inspiration for this design feature?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first ocean liner (over 20,000 tons) to have her engines and funnel located far aft?

Answer - it was the Southern Cross of Shaw Savill & Albion. 20.204 grt she was buildt at Harland & Wolff in Belfast in 1955. Southern Cross had a long career under 4 different names until 2003.
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselm


Cruise News - October 12, 2020

P&O Cruises Officially Welcomes New Ship Iona To Its Fleet
At an official handover ceremony with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany on Friday, P&O Cruises took ownership of Iona, the latest addition to its fleet and the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market.

At 185,000 tonnes, 345m in length with 17 guest decks and setting new ground for guest experience, Iona is the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, who was present at the event in Papenburg and signed the Protocol for Delivery and Acceptance said:

"Iona's delivery is a very positive signal for the future of cruising. She is now officially part of the P&O Cruises fleet and we are focused on readying her to welcome guests during her new maiden season to Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from our home port of Southampton.

"Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more.

"Whilst our operations are currently paused until early 2021 Iona will not be sailing for the moment but we look forward to our guests experiencing this game-changing ship as we will continue to offer unparalleled holidays at sea whilst also upholding the latest approved travel protocols."

Iona will also herald a new era in cruise holidays with many first of their kind features including the unique two-deck SkyDome. Its glass dome roof and spacious layout flooded with natural light offers relaxing and unrivalled views of the surrounding sky and sea. SkyDome is a tranquil pool environment by day with dining and entertainment by night, including stunning specially commissioned aerial entertainment shows under the stars.

Guests can also craft individual gins at the first ever gin distillery at sea or unwind in the Oasis spa featuring a range of destination-themed treatments.

Iona will have eight specialty restaurants including yet to be unveiled concepts, as well as 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools including a spectacular infinity pool at the aft of the ship and 16 whirlpools.

Carnival Cancels Miami And Port Canaveral Cruises For November 2020
Carnival Cruise Line has notified guests and travel agents that it is cancelling the remaining cruises for the six total ships operating from PortMiami and Port Canaveral for November 2020.

It has also cancelled five cruises scheduled to operate from Sydney, Australia from Jan. 16 - Feb. 8, 2021.

Following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) decision to extend its no-sail order for cruise operations until Oct. 31, Carnival cancelled all but PortMiami and Port Canaveral cruises for the rest of the year. It has now determined that November 2020 operations will not be feasible.

Carnival continues to work on protocols and procedures that would allow for the resumption of cruise operations, with a gradual, phased-in approach, designating Miami and Port Canaveral as the first two homeports for embarkations. Cruises currently scheduled for December from those two homeports remain in place for the time being while Carnival evaluates options. However, guests booked on cruises in December out of Miami and Port Canaveral still have the ability to voluntarily cancel their reservation and receive the same offer that all other impacted guests are receiving, which includes a combination future cruise credit (FCC) and onboard credit (OBC), or a full refund.

In Australia, Carnival is notifying guests and travel agents that five cruises on Carnival Splendor from Jan. 16 - Feb. 8, 2021 have been cancelled. Those guests will receive the same offer of the combination FCC/OBC, or a full refund.

Azamara Will Set Sail Again for the 2021 Europe Season
Azamara has announced the decision to pause operations until the 2021 Europe season and return to service on March 20, 2021 for Azamara Quest's originally scheduled 12-night Spain Country-Intensive voyage, Azamara Journey's April 9, 2021 voyage from Lisbon to Barcelona, and Azamara Pursuit's new series of Greek Country-Intensive Voyages starting on May 9, 2021. The brand's itineraries are all designed for more in-depth exploration to truly connect to the country's authentic heart of local life and culture. The boutique cruise line has chosen to adjust its sailings as a result of individual country restrictions, as well as guest survey results indicating that Azamara guests will feel more comfortable waiting to cruise until 2021. Compensation options can be viewed here.

"After very careful consideration, we have made the decision to pause operations until the 2021 Europe season, as we are still confronted with the many global challenges resulting from COVID-19," says Azamara's Chief Operating Officer, Carol Cabezas. "We plan to return stronger than ever next season, with reimagined guest experiences that will protect the wellbeing of our guests and crew yet remain true to the Azamara spirit of connecting people to cultures."

Cabezas continues, "As we look at our long-term plan, we have already seen a strong demand to our 2022/2023 voyages, which was announced in mid-September. Within the first week of opening for sale, we experienced three times more bookings for new voyages compared to last year's deployment of 2021 and Winter/Spring 2022 itineraries. This just further reinforces traveler's commitment to cruising."

Azamara is prioritizing the health and safety of its guests, crew and the communities they visit. As part of the Royal Caribbean Group, an expert panel has been assembled called the Healthy Sail Panel. The panel is a group of the best minds and leaders in public health, biosecurity, epidemiology, hospitality and maritime operations. Their insights and recommendations are helping drive the way forward as the company works to strengthen current procedures and create new ones across the entire cruise experience.

Royal Caribbean Group Announces Proposed Offering Of Common Stock
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) (the "Company") today announced that it has commenced an underwritten public offering of $500 million of shares of common stock of the Company and intends to grant the underwriters an option to purchase up to $75 million of additional shares. The Company expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

The Company also announced by a separate press release that it has commenced a private offering to eligible purchasers of $500 million aggregate principal amount of senior convertible notes due 2023 (or up to $575 million aggregate principal amount if the initial purchasers exercise in full their option to purchase additional convertible notes). Nothing contained herein shall constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the convertible notes. The closing of each offering is not conditioned upon the closing of the other offering.

Morgan Stanley and BofA Securities are acting as joint lead book-running managers for the offering of common stock. Citigroup, DNB Markets, Goldman Sachs and Co. LLC, HSBC, J.P. Morgan and SEB are also acting as book-running managers for the offering of common stock. A shelf registration statement relating to the shares of common stock has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and has become effective. The offering may be made only by means of a prospectus supplement and an accompanying base prospectus. A preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the offering will be filed with the SEC and will be available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Copies of the preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained from (1) Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, 180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10014, Attention: Prospectus Department, and (2) BofA Securities NC1-004-03-43 200 North College Street, 3rd floor, Charlotte NC 28255-0001, Attn: Prospectus Department, Email: dg.prospectus_requests@bofa.com.

Royal Caribbean Announces New Quantum of the Seas Sailings from Singapore
Royal Caribbean International has received approval from the Singapore Government to pilot cruises, starting in December, after months of planning to ensure the health and safety of its guests and crew, as well as the communities where it sails.

Singapore residents can now satisfy those feelings of wanderlust on 3- and 4-night Ocean Getaways on board one of the Royal Caribbean’s most innovative and game-changing ships. During their getaway at sea, guests will enjoy world-class amenities, next-generation entertainment and international dining on the state-of-the-art Quantum of the Seas. The new sailings, exclusive to residents of Singapore, debut 1 December, 2020 and are now available for booking.

The cruise line’s parent company, Royal Caribbean Group, in collaboration with cruise industry partners, formed the Healthy Sail Panel, a taskforce of globally recognized medical and public health experts, to develop recommendations for establishing the strongest protocols in the travel industry. In Singapore, Royal Caribbean has been working closely with the local health and tourism authorities to follow all requirements and guidelines including the CruiseSafe Certification standards, which all cruise lines must obtain prior to sailing out of Singapore.

When it resumes operations, the global cruise operator will implement a comprehensive set of health and safety measures at every step of the guest journey with rigorous protocols that include, testing and screening; upgraded Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems that enhance filtration; stringent cleaning practices; reduced capacities for greater physical distancing; expert medical care and onboard facilities, and more. These protocols will continuously be evaluated and enhanced as new procedures and advancements in technology become available. Details of the health and safety protocols can be found at www.royalpromise.com/singapore.

“Singapore residents are adventurous travellers, and we are so excited to give them the opportunity to get away from their daily grind and enjoy a thrilling world-class Ocean Getaway, with total peace of mind. While the cruise experience will be different than it was pre-pandemic, we are committed to providing the signature Royal Caribbean holiday that guests know and love, while keeping the health and safety of everyone on board as our top priority” said Angie Stephen, managing director, Asia Pacific, Royal Caribbean International. “I extend my deepest gratitude to the Singapore Government for their collaboration and support and confidence in Royal Caribbean to deliver a safe cruising experience. We share their strong commitment and focus to reignite the local economy and bring back jobs and services supporting the travel industry.”

“As ASEAN’s lead coordinator for cruise development, Singapore remains committed to supporting and growing cruise tourism in the region. Royal Caribbean International is a key partner in growing cruising in Singapore and the region, and I am confident in their ability to maintain the highest standards of hygiene and safety,” said Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board. “We will continue to work with cruise lines and our industry stakeholders to chart a new course for safe cruising.”

With its 50-year legacy of bold innovation, Royal Caribbean introduced Quantum of the Seas as the world’s first smart ship with game-changing features designed to thrill multigenerational families. One-of-a-kind experiences come to life for guests in cutting-edge and transformative venues, such as Two70 with its expansive floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking 270-degree views of the ocean by day and transforming into an unparalleled theater by night. The high-tech lounge also known for its signature Roboscreens – a troupe of six agile screens, each measuring over 7 feet tall, controlled by nimble robotic arms – features next-generation entertainment that seamlessly fuses performance art and technology for immersive, live theatrical productions. The adventures continue with a bold lineup of activities, including the North Star glass observation capsule that rises 300 feet above sea level, skydiving, surfing, cocktails served by robots at the Bionic Bar, and SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea – home to bumper cars, a trapeze school, roller skating, a basketball court and gaming. The ship features 18 dining options serving up flavors from around the globe, ranging from imaginative cuisine at Wonderland and authentic rustic fare and handmade pasta at Jamie’s Italian.

Carnival Corporation & plc Provides a Business Update
Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "We have come full circle from initiating a suspension in the early days of the pandemic, to transitioning the fleet into a pause status, right sizing our organization and, now, embarking on the phased resumption of guest operations, underway in two of our world leading cruise brands, Costa in Italy and AIDA in Germany. We have accelerated the sale of less efficient ships, enabling us to capitalize on pent up demand on reduced capacity and structurally lower our cost base, while retaining our most cash generating assets. We are taking aggressive actions managing the balance sheet and reducing capacity to position us to weather this disruption and also emerge a leaner, more efficient company, reinforcing our industry leading position."

Resumption of Guest Operations

In the face of the global impact of COVID-19, the company paused its guest cruise operations in mid-March. The company resumed limited guest operations last month, with Costa Cruises ("Costa") successful voyages on two of its ships, Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema. The company is continuing the limited resumption of its guest cruise operations with sailings on additional Costa ships shortly, as well as with sailings on AIDA Cruises ("AIDA") which are anticipated to begin next week. These brands are beginning the company's anticipated gradual, phased-in resumption of guest cruise operations. The initial cruises will continue to take place with adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed with government and health authorities, and guidance from our roster of medical and scientific experts.

Other brands and ships are expected to return to service over time to provide guests with unmatched joyful vacations in a manner consistent with the company's highest priorities, which are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of its guests, crew, shoreside employees and the people in the communities its ships visit. Many of the company's brands source the majority of their guests from the geographical region in which they operate. In the current environment, the company believes this will benefit it in resuming guest cruise operations.

Health and Safety Protocols

Working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, Costa and AIDA have a comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols to help facilitate a safe and healthy return to cruise vacations. Both brands are providing guests with detailed information about enhanced protocols, which are modeled after shoreside health and mitigation guidelines as provided by each brand's respective country, and approved by the flag state, Italy. Protocols will be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies.

Costa is the first cruise company to earn the Biosafety Trust Certification from Registro Italiano Navale ("RINA"). The certification process examined all aspects of life onboard and ashore and assessed the compliance of the system with procedures aimed at the prevention and control of infections. Costa's comprehensive set of measures and procedures implemented on the ships that resumed operations, cover key areas such as crew health and safety, the booking process, guest activities, entertainment and dining, and medical care on board, as well as pre-boarding, embarkation and disembarkation operations, which includes testing for all guests prior to embarkation.

The company is encouraged that the Centers for Disease Control's ("CDC") No Sail Order was extended by only one month to October 31, 2020, the same date as the industry's end of voluntary suspension of passenger operations. For many months, cruise lines have worked with experts worldwide to develop unprecedented public health protocols and are hopeful these measures will lead to a gradual, phased resumption of cruising by the end of the year. There is constant dialogue ongoing in the United States for a potential cruise restart and the company is hopeful that the industry is in a position to collaborate with the CDC and administration to resume cruising from the United States this year.

More broadly, as the understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, the company has been working with a number of world-leading public health, epidemiological and policy experts to support its ongoing efforts with enhanced protocols and procedures for the return of cruise vacations. These advisors will continue to provide guidance based on the latest scientific evidence and best practices for protection and mitigation.

Optimizing the Future Fleet

The company expects future capacity to be moderated by the phased re-entry of its ships, the removal of capacity from its fleet and delays in new ship deliveries. Since the pause in guest operations, the company has accelerated the removal of ships in fiscal 2020 which were previously expected to be sold over the ensuing years. The company now expects to dispose of 18 ships, ten of which have already left the fleet. In total, the 18 ships represent approximately 12 percent of pre-pause capacity and only three percent of operating income in 2019. The sale of less efficient ships will result in future operating expense efficiencies of approximately two percent per available lower berth day ("ALBD") and a reduction in fuel consumption of approximately one percent per ALBD. The company expects only two of the four ships originally scheduled for delivery in 2020, following the start of the pause, to be delivered prior to the end of fiscal 2020, including Enchanted Princess which was delivered last week. The company currently expects only five of the nine ships originally scheduled for delivery in fiscal 2020 and 2021 to be delivered prior to the end of fiscal year 2021. The company currently expects nine cruise ships and two smaller expedition ships of the 13 ships originally scheduled for delivery prior to the end of fiscal year 2022 to be delivered by then.

Based on the actions taken to date and the scheduled newbuild deliveries through 2022, the company's fleet will be more efficient with a roughly 13 percent larger average berth size per ship and an average age of 12 years in 2022 versus 13 years, in each case as compared to 2019.

Update on Bookings

While the company believes bookings in the first half of 2021 reflect expectations of the phased resumption of its guest cruise operations and anticipated itinerary changes, as of September 20, 2020, cumulative advanced bookings for the second half of 2021 capacity currently available for sale are at the higher end of the historical range. The company believes this demonstrates the long-term potential demand for cruising. Pricing on these bookings are lower by mid-single digits versus the second half of 2019, on a comparable basis, reflecting the effect of future cruise credits ("FCC") from previously cancelled cruises being applied. The company continues to take bookings for both 2021 and 2022.

The company is providing flexibility to guests with bookings on sailings cancelled by allowing guests to receive enhanced FCCs or elect to receive refunds in cash. Enhanced FCCs increase the value of the guest's original booking or provide incremental onboard credits. As of September 20, 2020, approximately 45 percent of guests affected by the company's schedule changes have received enhanced FCCs and approximately 55 percent have requested refunds.

Total customer deposits balance at August 31, 2020, was $2.4 billion, the majority of which are FCCs, compared to total customer deposits balance of $2.9 billion at May 31, 2020. The decline in customer deposits is consistent with previous expectations. As of August 31, 2020, the current portion of customer deposits was $2.1 billion with $0.1 billion relating to fourth quarter sailings. Approximately 60 percent of bookings taken during the three weeks ended September 20, 2020 were new bookings as opposed to FCC re-bookings, despite minimal advertising or marketing.

Recently, Yield Optimization and Demand Analytics ("YODA"), the company's cutting-edge dynamic price recommendations and inventory management program, was selected as a finalist for an Operations Research award called the Franz Edelman. As a company focused on creating memorable experiences for its guests, it's quite an achievement to be recognized as a finalist to this award alongside companies like Intel, IBM, and Walmart.

Increasing Liquidity

Carnival Corporation & plc Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer David Bernstein noted, "As of the end of the Third Quarter, we had over $8 billion of available cash and additional financing alternatives to opportunistically further improve our liquidity profile. We have recently begun to optimize our capital structure with the early extinguishment of debt on favorable economic terms and the extension of debt maturities. In addition, with the re-launch of our fleet, we saw a good opportunity to improve our balance sheet with an equity offering. So last month we announced an at-the-market or ATM equity offering program. However, once we fully resume guest cruise operations, we expect our cash flow potential will build a path to further strengthen our balance sheet and return us to an investment grade credit rating over time."

Due to the pause in guest operations, the company has taken significant actions to preserve cash and secure additional financing to increase its liquidity. Since March, the company has raised $12.5 billion through a series of financing transactions, including the following transactions since May 31, 2020:

• Borrowed an aggregate principal amount of $2.8 billion in two tranches under a first priority senior secured term loan facility on June 30, 2020.

• Issued $1.3 billion aggregate principal amount of second priority senior secured notes in two tranches on July 20, 2020.

• Entered into Debt Holiday amendments, deferring certain principal repayments otherwise due through March 2021. (Certain export credit agencies have offered a 12-month debt amortization and financial covenant holiday ("Debt Holiday")).

• Completed a registered direct offering of 99.2 million shares of Carnival Corporation's common stock and used the proceeds to repurchase $886 million of its 5.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2023 on August 10, 2020.

• Issued $900 million aggregate principal amount of second priority senior secured notes on August 18, 2020.

• In September 2020 we entered into an equity distribution agreement with sales agents pursuant to which we may, from time to time, offer and sell shares of Carnival Corporation's common stock having an aggregate offering price of up to $1.0 billion through the sales agents (the "ATM Offering"). As of October 2, 2020, we sold 23 million shares for net proceeds of $352 million under the ATM Offering.

In September 2020, we borrowed $610 million under an export credit facility.

As of August 31, 2020, the company has a total of $8.2 billion of cash and cash equivalents.

Currently, the company is unable to predict when the entire fleet will return to normal operations, and as a result, unable to provide an earnings forecast. The pause in guest operations continues to have a material negative impact on all aspects of the company's business, including the company's liquidity, financial position and results of operations. The company expects a net loss on both a U.S. GAAP and adjusted basis for the quarter and year ending November 30, 2020.

The company's monthly average cash burn rate for the third quarter 2020 was $770 million, which was in line with the anticipated monthly cash burn rate. The company expects the monthly average cash burn rate for the fourth quarter of 2020 to be approximately $530 million. This results in an average monthly burn rate for the second half of the year of $650 million as previously disclosed. This rate includes approximately $250 million of ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses, working capital changes (excluding changes in customer deposits), interest expense and committed capital expenditures (net of unfunded export credit facilities) and also excludes scheduled debt maturities as well as other cash collateral to be provided. The company continues to explore opportunities to further reduce its monthly cash burn rate.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.21 + 1.67%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 69.83 + 7.02%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.26 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 18.08 + 6.42%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first ocean liner (over 20,000 tons) to have her engines and funnel located far aft?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was first cruise ship fitted with a podded propulsion system, and what year did that ship enter service?

Answer - It was the Elation of the Carnival Cruise Line built in 1998.
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselm


Cruise News - October 5, 2020

Costa Smeralda Restarts On October 10 From Savona
After the successful restart of cruising by Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema, Costa Cruises today announced that starting Oct. 10 Costa Smeralda will also return to cruise operations with new and enhanced health protocols.

For the restart of its flagship, the first ship in its fleet to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), Costa Cruises has designed a new one-week itinerary dedicated to the rediscovery of the best of Italy. A total of five cruises are scheduled, from Oct. 10 to Nov. 7, that will allow guests to visit beautiful Italian cities of art and natural parks of rare beauty, as well as taste traditional local cuisine.

The first call on the itinerary is Savona, from where guests can also visit nearby destinations such as Genoa or Finalborgo. The second call is La Spezia, with excursions to Cinque Terre, Lerici, Florence or Pisa. The next call is Cagliari, followed by Naples, with the possibility to visit Sorrento, Pompei and the Royal Palace of Caserta. The last two destinations on the itinerary are Messina, with excursions to the Etna volcano and Taormina; and Civitavecchia, which offers visits to Rome and Tarquinia.

Like the other two Costa ships that have already returned to service, the Costa Safety Protocol will be in place on board Costa Smeralda. The protocol, developed by the company together with scientific experts, includes new operational measures that address the COVID-19 situation, fully compliant with the provisions defined by the Italian and European authorities.

The Costa Safety Protocol considers every aspect of the cruise experience, from booking to returning home. Key measures include antigen swab tests for all guests and crew before embarkation, temperature checks while disembarking and returning to the ship, visits to destinations only with protected excursions and physical distancing onboard and at the terminals. In addition, with a reduction in the number of passengers, the enhanced protocols include new ways of using onboard services, improved sanitization and medical services, and the use of protective face masks when necessary.

Costa Smeralda, which was christened in Savona this year on Feb. 22, is a tribute to Italy, the result of an extraordinary creative project designed to exalt and bring the best of Italy to life in a single location. Italian design is the main feature of the CoDe - Costa Design Museum, the first museum built on a cruise ship. The onboard highlights fit perfectly into this extraordinary context: from the Solemio Spa to the areas dedicated to entertainment; from thematic bars, in collaboration with major Italian brands, to the 16 restaurants and areas dedicated to the "food experience," including a new restaurant dedicated to families with children.

Costa Smeralda is a travelling "smart city," where sustainable technologies and circular economy concepts are applied to reduce environmental impact. By utilizing LNG, currently the maritime industry's most advanced fuel technology for significantly improving emissions, Costa Smeralda is able to almost completely eliminate sulfur oxide emissions (zero emissions) and a 95 to 100% reduction in particulate matter. The use of LNG also significantly reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide and CO2.

The ship's daily water requirement is met by the direct transformation of sea water through the use of desalination plants. Energy consumption is reduced to a minimum level thanks to an intelligent energy efficiency system. There is also 100% separate waste collection and recycling of materials such as plastic, paper, glass and aluminum, which are carried out on board.

Starting on Nov. 14 2020, Costa Smeralda is scheduled to resume her one-week itinerary in Italy, France and Spain, again departing from Savona. Costa is working with the national and local authorities of the countries included in this itinerary, with the goal of offering guests a safe and enjoyable holiday experience through the implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol both on board and in all destinations.

Enchanted Princess Officially Joins Princess Cruises Fleet
The newly completed Enchanted Princess was delivered to Princess Cruises today in an official handover ceremony presented via live streaming video from the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. With the arrival of this 145,000-ton, 3,660-guest ship, Enchanted Princess expands the Princess Cruises global fleet of MedallionClass vessels.

The ceremony was virtually attended by executives from Carnival Corporation & plc including Micky Arison, Chairman of the Board of Carnival Corporation; Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation; Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Carnival Australia and Carnival UK; and Jan Swartz Group President of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia. Fincantieri was represented by CEO Giuseppe Bono.

Enchanted Princess is the 100th cruise ship built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. This milestone is significant for both companies since Crown Princess was the first ship to launch Fincantieri into the modern passenger ship building business, when it was delivered in 1990. The finalization of Enchanted Princess also marks the first ship to be completed during the time of COVID. In fact, Fincantieri was one of the first businesses to reopen in Italy, helping to energize the economy, while operating in new and innovative ways to ensure a safe and productive work environment.

"We officially welcome Enchanted Princess into the Princess global fleet and recognize the strong bond between Carnival Corporation, Princess Cruises and Fincantieri, our long-standing shipbuilder partner," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "Fincantieri shares the Princess spirit of delivering the highest level of excellence, and we know they will also share in our enthusiasm with pride when the ship welcomes its first guests."

Enchanted Princess represents an evolution of the design platform used for her sisterships - Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Majestic Princess and the most recently introduced Sky Princess - offering an elevation of spectacular style and elegance that is distinguished by Princess. The cruise ship introduces new dining experiences, the most pools and whirlpool hot tubs ever, world-class entertainment venues and the breathtaking Sky Suites, offering expansive views from the largest balconies at sea.

"We are so proud to deliver the new Enchanted Princess today and celebrate a major milestone of completing our 100th vessel built here at Fincantieri," said Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri CEO. "I must acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the shipbuilding team and yard workers who changed course in new and unfamiliar ways to complete construction on Enchanted Princess during the global pandemic. Thank you to Princess Cruises for your partnership and belief in our ability to complete this complex project."

On MedallionClass ships, the OceanMedallion wearable device transforms vacations by making the entire cruise experience effortless, delivering highly personalized service, and enabling touchless interactive experiences and entertainment. Among enhancements, guests enjoy expedited boarding; on-demand food, beverage, retail and service delivery; keyless stateroom entry; contactless payment; friends and family locator; anywhere wagering; interactive games; and movies/live TV on the go.

Enchanted Princess also features the best Wi-Fi at sea, MedallionNet, on board so guests can stay connected to the things they love and share vacation memories with ease. MedallionNet offers unprecedented connectivity that's fast, unlimited, reliable, and affordable with an access point in every stateroom, so guests can stream favorite movies, shows, games and music; connect to favorite social media sites; and video chat from anywhere on the ship.

First introduced on Sky Princess and now Enchanted Princess, are the new luxury Sky Suites with inclusive amenities, attentive service and a dedicated Suite Experience Manager. In addition, Enchanted Princess features Take Five, the only jazz theater at sea, celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz.

Swartz added, "The heart and soul of the ship are always its team, and I know she is in good hands with our dedicated crew watching over her with great care and pride. We look forward to brighter days ahead, when we can officially welcome the first Enchanted Princess guests to enjoy all this beautiful ship has to offer."

Enchanted Princess is scheduled to arrive in North America in December 2020, for a season of Caribbean cruises.

World Navigator, Atlas Ocean Voyages' First Expedition Ship, Floats Out
With nine months until launch, Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Navigator was floated out at West Sea Viana Shipyard in Portugal. The 'float out' marks the first time World Navigator enters the water and floats of her own accord. Now in wet dock, the small expedition ship is being outfitted with elegant and luxurious amenities and décor. Meanwhile, construction of World Traveller, Atlas' second expedition ship, is already in progress, and her keel was also laid at West Sea Viana Shipyard. Designed for seasoned and fun-seeking travelers to immerse in active and awe-inspiring experiences in less-trodden, bucket-list destinations, World Navigator and World Traveller will launch in July 2021 and mid-2022, respectively. Guests will enjoy one of the industry's most-inclusive experiences with the luxe-adventure cruise brand's signature All Inclusive All the Way. In addition to World Navigator and World Traveller, three additional expedition ships are on order for delivery by the end 2023.

"Our first ship's float out is a momentous milestone for Atlas Ocean Voyages," said President Alberto Aliberti. "We are another major step closer to welcoming World Navigator and launching Atlas' authentic, once-in-a-lifetime adventures in the some of the world's most extraordinary places. We take care of the details so guests can focus on enjoying Atlas' luxe-adventure journeys with their family and friends, part of our signature All Inclusive All the Way. These have been very appealing for travelers with a pent-up desire to explore again. They and our valued travel advisor partners have responded very positively since we opened reservations – so much that we are the only cruise brand to have ordered new ships this year."

Atlas Ocean Voyages' All Inclusive All the Way makes it one of the most inclusive cruise brands in the industry. Guests enjoy greater peace of mind and seamless adventures, beginning with included complimentary roundtrip air travel from major North American gateways to the remote and captivating destinations where Atlas sails.

A 'first' for the industry and an example of how the brand is innovating with the evolving priorities of general travel, Atlas is also including emergency medical evacuation insurance with every booking. Guests can rest assured that they will expeditiously obtain the appropriate attention in case of a medical emergency. The insurance covers emergency medical transportation from the ship to a local treatment center, as well as return transportation to home or a medical facility close to home, as required.

On extended voyages, guests also enjoy MAX SHORE, complimentary three- to five-night, overland immersions that bring guests to the must-see attractions and cultural gems only found inland. These free 'vacations-within-vacations' deliver more once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as hot-air ballooning over Pamukkale's mineral pools and petrified forest; glamping under the Jordanian stars and catching sunrise over Petra; and even touring the infamous Chernobyl power plant and overnighting in the exclusion zone, with more to be announced. MAX SHORE itineraries are also All Inclusive All the Way, with transportation, meals, beverages, premium lodging, and most of all, access.

Shipboard, experienced, inquisitive and fun-seeing travelers will find community with like-spirited guests as they revel in the ship's welcoming and lively lounges. With All Inclusive All the Way, guests can be more carefree and enjoy features such as complimentary prepaid gratuities; premium wine and spirits and international craft beers; coffees and smoothies; Wi-Fi; L'Occitane bath amenities; complimentary shore excursions in select ports; Michelin-inspired dining; binoculars onboard; coffee, tea and personalized bar service in every room; butler service in suites; and engaging and knowledgeable service from every staff and crew member.

For her inaugural season, World Navigator will embark on seven- to 24-night itineraries in the Holy Land, Black and Mediterranean Seas, followed by nine- to 13-night itineraries in the Caribbean, South America and on Antarctic expeditions for winter 2021/22. Atlas' newly constructed, safe, clean and green, small expedition ships foster a refined and convivial ambience and can accommodate up to 196 guests. World Navigator and her sister ships are Polar Category-C and Ice Class-1B certified, with all of the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into their design.

Holland America Line's Rotterdam Reaches Next Building Milestone
In anticipation of Rotterdam's float-out next week, Holland America Line celebrated the ship's coin ceremony today, Thursday, Oct. 1, at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy. Following Italian shipbuilding tradition, Mai Elmar, executive director of Cruise Port Rotterdam in the Netherlands, served as the ship's madrina and participated in the festivities.

During the socially responsible ceremony, Dutch coins minted in 1872 to honor Holland America Line's first Rotterdam were welded to the outside deck of the ship to bring good fortune, followed by a blessing by the shipyard chaplain. In attendance were Antonio Quintano, director of the Fincantieri Marghera Shipyard; Cyril Tatar, Holland America Group's vice president of newbuilding services; and Nico Bleichrodt, vice president, international sales, for Holland America Line.

"We are pleased to honor the coin ceremony tradition and celebrate this milestone that signals less than a year until Rotterdam's delivery," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "With a name like Rotterdam, there is no other person more ideal than Mai Elmar to serve as the ship's madrina. Mai's name is synonymous with the cruise industry in the port city of Rotterdam and she has been a tremendous champion of our brand for decades. We're thrilled to have her take on this special role."

On Oct 7 Rotterdam's drydock will be filled with water and the ship will be floated out to begin the next stage of construction at an outfitting pier. Rotterdam is scheduled to be delivered July 30, 2021.

For many years, Elmar has dedicated much of her time to the city and port of Rotterdam. Since 2000, she has grown Cruise Port Rotterdam from zero to 102 cruise ships that have visited yearly. She was the first chief marketing officer of Rotterdam city and now serves as executive director of Cruise Port Rotterdam. Elmar was instrumental in designing the brand policy and strategy of the city. From 2011 to 2013, she was director of the ss Rotterdam, the famed hotel ship and former flagship of Holland America Line.

In 2005 Elmar was named Mrs. "Harbor Man of the Year" and received the Wolfert van Borselen medal from the mayor for her efforts for the city of Rotterdam. In 2016 she was made a Knight of the Order of Oranje Nassau, which is awarded for longstanding meritorious service to society, the State or the Royal House.

The third in the Pinnacle Class series, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests, measure 99,800 gross tons and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café. Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with an exclusive collection of world-class performances each night — from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam will showcase Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line and the 17th ship constructed for the brand by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently built Nieuw Statendam.

Following Rotterdam's Premiere Voyage departing Aug. 1, 2021, the ship will spend its inaugural summer season in northern Europe. Naming details have not been finalized and will be announced at a later date.

Azamara Will Set Sail Again for the 2021 Europe Season with New Greek Country-Intensive Voyages
Destination-focused cruise brand – Azamara – has announced the decision to pause operations until the 2021 Europe season and return to service on March 20, 2021 for Azamara Quest's originally scheduled 12-night Spain Country-IntensiveSM voyage, Azamara Journey's April 9, 2021 voyage from Lisbon to Barcelona, and Azamara Pursuit's new series of Greek Country-Intensive Voyages starting on May 9, 2021. The brand's itineraries are all designed for more in-depth exploration to truly connect to the country's authentic heart of local life and culture. The boutique cruise line has chosen to adjust its sailings as a result of individual country restrictions, as well as guest survey results indicating that Azamara guests will feel more comfortable waiting to cruise until 2021. Compensation options can be viewed here.

"After very careful consideration, we have made the decision to pause operations until the 2021 Europe season, as we are still confronted with the many global challenges resulting from COVID-19," says Azamara's Chief Operating Officer, Carol Cabezas. "We plan to return stronger than ever next season, with reimagined guest experiences that will protect the wellbeing of our guests and crew yet remain true to the Azamara spirit of connecting people to cultures."

Cabezas continues, "As we look at our long-term plan, we have already seen a strong demand to our 2022/2023 voyages, which was announced in mid-September. Within the first week of opening for sale, we experienced three times more bookings for new voyages compared to last year's deployment of 2021 and Winter/Spring 2022 itineraries. This just further reinforces traveler's commitment to cruising."

Azamara is prioritizing the health and safety of its guests, crew and the communities they visit. As part of the Royal Caribbean Group, an expert panel has been assembled called the Healthy Sail Panel. The panel is a group of the best minds and leaders in public health, biosecurity, epidemiology, hospitality and maritime operations. Their insights and recommendations are helping drive the way forward as the company works to strengthen current procedures and create new ones across the entire cruise experience.

Highlights of the upcoming Europe itineraries, including the new Greece Country-Intensive voyage in 2021 include the following:

Setting sail on March 20, 2021, Azamara Quest will start the Europe season with her originally scheduled 12-Night Spain Intensive Voyage, taking guests on an immersive journey through Spain. Starting in Lisbon, Portugal, Azamara Quest will make its way to Seville for an overnight stay to discover the architectural wonders of this Gothic city, including the ornate Alcázar complex and the Seville Cathedral—the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. The itinerary includes an overnight in the dynamic city of Barcelona and overnight stays in Malaga, Spain and Valencia, Spain.

For travelers looking to explore the beautiful Iberian Peninsula, the Iberia Intensive voyage aboard Azamara Journey will begin April 9, 2021. In partnership with Perry Golf, one of the game's leading providers of international golf vacations, this 4-round golf and sightseeing voyage will take guests to seven ports. Embarking from Lisbon and sailing overnight for Portimao, home to The Faldo Course at Amendoeira Golf Resort, for the first round on one of Europe's best clubs. The Royal Seville Golf Club, a Jose Maria Olazabal design, is next along with the city of Seville, whose rich history, excellent wine and tapas will be enjoyed for two days and an overnight. With a late-night stay in Gibraltar, golfers will play Spain's storied Valderrama, consistently rated among the top clubs in continental Europe, while sightseers can take the cable car to The Upper Rock.

The new Greek Country-Intensive series of Voyages beginning May 9, 2021 on Azamara Pursuit will embark from Europe's historical capital city of Athens and sail on to Greece's cosmopolitan island of Mykonos, where travelers can enjoy activities like an authentic Greek cooking class in a Mykonian home, a mosaic-making class, and boat rides along the coast. Additional highlights will include an overnight stay in the iconic Greek island of Santorini and the medieval island of Rhodes, where guests can see the Colossus of Rhodes, another of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World; the "Holy Island" of Patmos; and the island of Crete's Heraklion region to visit the renowned Archeological Museum. The round-trip journey will return back to Athens for the opportunity to further explore ancient sights including the Parthenon and the Acropolis.

Carnival Cruise Line Cancels Some Cruises For November And December
Following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) decision to extend its no-sail order for cruise operations, Carnival Cruise Line is notifying guests and travel agents that it has cancelled cruises from all U.S. homeports except Miami and Port Canaveral for November and December 2020. While operations from Miami and Port Canaveral in November and December are still not certain, Carnival is focusing its initial return to service from those two homeports, whenever that might occur.

Carnival continues to work on protocols and procedures that would allow for the resumption of cruise operations, with a gradual, phased-in approach, designating Miami and Port Canaveral as the first two homeports for embarkations. Cruises currently scheduled for November and December from those two homeports will remain in place for the time being while Carnival evaluates options. However, the cruise line is providing guests booked on cruises in November and December out of Miami and Port Canaveral the ability to voluntarily cancel their reservation and receive the same offer that all other impacted guests are receiving, which includes a combination future cruise credit and onboard credit, or a full refund.

"As we have said throughout this pause, our return to operations will be gradual and phased in. And while we are not making any presumptions, once cruising is allowed, we will center our initial start-up from the homeports of Miami and Port Canaveral," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "The health and safety of our guests, crew and communities we serve remain the cornerstone of our plans and decisions. The patience and support of our guests and travel agent partners have been a huge motivation to our team as we have worked through this unprecedented situation and we are dedicated to getting back to operations when the time is right."

Seabourn Announces Voyage Cancellations For Three Ships
Seabourn announced today that it will cancel upcoming 2020 and 2021 voyages for three cruise ships in its fleet into Spring 2021.

The announcement applies to Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Ovation, and Seabourn Encore. Specific details are as follows:

• Seabourn Odyssey: with its operations pause effective through January 15, 2021.

• Seabourn Ovation: with its operations pause effective through April 18, 2021.

• Seabourn Encore: with its operations pause effective through May 28, 2021.

The decision to cancel additional voyages is a proactive action to deal with the circumstances continuing to evolve from the global response to the COVID-19 situation.

"Our highest priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the people in destinations we visit," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We know our past guests and travelers are eager to travel when the time is right and that time is on the horizon, so I would encourage anyone to look at their calendar and start planning a trip today to let the excitement build."

Guests with impacted cruises will automatically be cancelled and all guests will receive Bonus Future Cruise Credits. They can also request a full refund of monies paid to Seabourn. Specific details are as follows:

• Paid in Full: those guests paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn. Under Deposit: those guests with bookings under deposit will receive a Future Cruise Credit valued at 125% of the deposit amount paid. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

• The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. The amount of non-cruise fare purchases may be transferred to a new booking. Alternatively, guests may request a refund of the monies paid to Seabourn, which will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

Guests and their travel advisors will be sent specific details applicable to their booking. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available on its website first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.96 - 2.29%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 65.25 - 1.27%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.26 - 1.89%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.99 + 1.86%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was first cruise ship fitted with a podded propulsion system, and what year did that ship enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Prior to S.O.S. a different code was used as the International signal for distress. What was the code, what did it stand for, and what was the first large passenger ship to use it to request help?

Answer - The code is CQD; meaning Come Quick Distress. This was used by the liner RMS Titanic after she struck an iceberg in April of 1912. 1992.
courtesy of Patti Stasiak

Some additional facts about SOS and CQD - In Feburary of 1904, the Marconi company suggested the use of CQD for a distress signal. Although generally accepted to mean, "Come Quick Danger," that is not the case. It is a general call, "CQ," followed by "D," meaning distress. A strict interpretation would be "All stations, Distress."

Likewise, contrary to popular belief, SOS is not an abbreviation for anything (...including Save Our Ship or Save Our Souls). According to the 1918 Marconi Yearbook of Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony "...it was adopted on account of its easy radiation and it unmistakable character." The first recorded use of the new SOS call by an American ship was in 1908 by the wireless operator of the ss Arapahoe after the ship lost a propeller. In 1912, wireless operator Jack Phillips first used the CQD call followed by Titanic's call letters MGY. Later, following second Radio Officer Harold Bride's suggestion, Phillips began interspersing SOS with the CQD call.


Cruise News - September 28, 2020

Mardi Gras Departs on Sea Trials
Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras is shown here departing on its sea trials this morning from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland. The vessel will spend 10 days at sea before returning to the dock for final preparations for its departure for the U.S.

The ship has more than 2,600 staterooms, including 180 suites across 11 different categories.

Mardi Gras’ also has six themed zones. These unique areas will include dining, beverage and entertainment options, including restaurants from Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri and Shaquille O’Neal.

Encompassing 21 decks, Mardi Gras will offer a groundbreaking new layout highlighted by Grand Central, a massive atrium with three-deck-high windows overlooking the sea.

The first ship in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Mardi Gras is scheduled to enter service from Port Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 6, 2021, from Port Canaveral’s new Terminal 3 which has been specifically constructed to accommodate Mardi Gras and its LNG propulsion system.

Cunard Announces Return to Mediterranean Cruises and Overnight European Stays
Cunard's detailed the 2021 Queen Elizabeth itineraries today.

The iconic ship will chart three to 14 night voyages around Europe before making her way through Asia to Australia to end the season.

Cunard president, Simon Palethorpe, said, "We are thrilled to announce such a broad new program for Queen Elizabeth, with sailings from Southampton and, later in 2021, from Barcelona.

"Guests wanting to explore Europe can experience captivating journeys from a scenic voyage exploring the British coast, to sailings visiting Norway to Iberia.

"And, for the first time since 2014, Queen Elizabeth will also be sailing a series of fly-cruises in the Mediterranean, departing from Barcelona, and featuring calls including the French Riviera, the west coast of Italy and the islands of Majorca and Corsica.

"Queen Elizabeth will finish her season with a transit through the Suez Canal, crossing the Indian Ocean to Singapore, before venturing to Australia.

"Whether guests have sailed with us before, or are taking a cruise for the first time and want a taster of how special a holiday with Cunard can be, we think there's an ideal itinerary for everyone."

The new program will start in Southampton on April 27th and end on December 19th, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.

The 2021 itineraries will feature a series of overnight port calls to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Rotterdam, Singapore and Auckland, with late evening departures from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Aqaba, Colombo and Fremantle.

Mardi Gras Grand Central Atrium: Form Meets Function
Atriums have been an important part of cruise ship design for decades but leave it to Carnival Cruise Line to break the mold with Grand Central, a transformational three-deck-high space that is one of six themed zones on Mardi Gras, set to debut in February.

A unique twist on the traditional atrium, Grand Central spans Decks 6, 7 and 8 with massive 3,000-square-foot glass panels built into the starboard side of the ship providing guests with impressive views of the ocean and ports of call as they relax in comfortable seating or stroll throughout the space.

According to Glenn Aprile, Carnival's director of new build product development and part of the design team that developed the groundbreaking venue, the idea was to create a space that was as functional as it was eye-catching, while providing guests with that "take your breath away" moment when they first board the vessel.

"Building an atrium into the side of a cruise ship is no easy task and it was a total team effort between our new build management team, engineers, designers, and hotel and entertainment teams to create a space that is as beautiful as it is functional," Aprile said.

During the day, Grand Central serves as a relaxing spot for guests to enjoy a coffee, drink or light fare, people watch, listen to live music, or partake in trivia contests and other leisurely pursuits. At night, Grand Central transforms into an intimate and immersive venue with a rotation of spectacular, soon-to-be-revealed experiences created just for Mardi Gras. Talented performers will interact with 16 individually controlled six- by 14-foot LED screens displaying video and special effects, as well as lasers and aerial feats to create a truly unforgettable entertainment experience.

Aprile noted that "with a ship as innovative as Mardi Gras we wanted to create a multi-functional dining and entertainment space that guests can enjoy day and night, while at the same time providing an intuitive way to get around the ship and creating a dramatic centerpiece that is worthy of our most innovative ship. Grand Central provides all that and more. We are extremely pleased with the results thus far."

Overlooking Grand Central is the multi-level Grand View Bar which like its name implies offers guests a chance to enjoy floor-to-ceiling sea views as they sip custom-cocktails and other libations, amidst awe-inspiring design touches like a virtual waterfall on translucent panels. There's also the Center Stage Bar on the main level. Both venues will feature specialty cocktails inspired by the theme of that evening's entertainment.

Steps away is Java Blue, which in addition to serving coffees, cappuccinos and lattes like other Carnival ships, offers a menu of fresh bakery items, wraps, salads and other light fare throughout the day. The Cherry on Top sweets shop is also nearby for those who want to enjoy a decadent treat, as are the retail shops and casino, providing a variety of fun options for guests to enjoy.

Connecting all of these spaces are a series of spacious and airy promenades and bridges that serve as convenient thoroughfares to other areas of the ship while allowing guests to see all the other happenings on board, adding to the excitement.

Noted Aprile, "We put the engineers and designers to the test here and our teams have taken everything we've learned about shipbuilding and interior design to create a stunning, comfortable and functional environment that truly sets Grand Central apart from other shipboard venues. With its transformation from daytime relaxation to nighttime entertainment, Grand Central is unlike anything that's ever been done on a cruise ship before and our guests are going to love it."

The first North American cruise ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Mardi Gras is set to debut from Port Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 6, 2021, operating week-long itineraries from the Space Coast.

Seabourn's Announces 2021 Alaska & British Columbia Season
Seabourn will offer a host of immersive experiences and adventures in Alaska and British Columbia in 2021 aboard the Seabourn Odyssey. The ship will take travelers to explore the vast wilderness and beauty of "The Great Land" as it winds its way through the region next summer during a series of 7-, 10- and 11-day voyages in a way that is unique in the market.

With its small ship, club-like atmosphere and award-winning onboard luxury rivaling any resort, Seabourn is the best way to explore America's Last Frontier for travelers looking to book a vacation for next summer. The intimate size and maneuverability of Seabourn Odyssey, which carries just 458 guests, all in spacious oceanfront suites, most with verandas, assures a privileged view of this great land that is virtually unmatched and where larger cruise ships cannot access.

"Alaska and British Columbia have so much to offer, from amazing wildlife to breathtaking, natural scenery, and unique culture," said Chris Austin, Seabourn's senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales. "Our ultra-luxury voyages and experiences, combined with the splendor of this region, will provide the ultimate Alaska experience that will undoubtedly leave them feeling rejuvenated by the incredible wide-open spaces."

Inspired by the success of the past several seasons, Seabourn has carefully curated an enriching and in-depth schedule for its 2021 season. These include eight innovative 7-day voyages between Vancouver and Juneau, Alaska, which are ideal for a one-week vacation or can be combined into 14-day voyages with no repeated ports. Guests who book the back-to-back voyages can also save up to 15 percent on the cruise fare. Seabourn's 7-day itineraries are unique in the marketplace because they provide a comprehensive Inside Passage experience with ports that aren't visited by most cruise lines.

The schedule will also feature 10- and 11-day voyages sailing between Whittier (Anchorage), Alaska, and Vancouver. Every voyage will include a spectacular glacier experience at either Hubbard Glacier or Tracy Arm/Endicott Arm. In addition, four sailings will visit the remote Glacier Bay National Park, with narration and insider observations by a National Park Service Ranger to enhance the experience.

All the 2021 voyages will offer optional for-charge Ventures by Seabourn expedition-style tours, featuring guided Zodiac and kayak excursions launched directly from the ship, as well as hiking and wildlife viewing. Guests will not only enjoy glaciers, fjords and rustic Alaskan ports that every Alaska cruiser expects, but also signature "hidden gems" like Misty Fjords that larger ships cannot access. These excursions will be led by Seabourn Odyssey's expedition team of naturalists, science, wildlife and historical experts. They will also interact with guests throughout each sailing, including complimentary formal presentations as part of the Seabourn Conversations program, and on deck, pointing out, interpreting and enhancing desirable locations as well as in more casual conversations over meals or at leisure. Guests who can't get enough can get more through team chronicles and photos shared via Seabourn's Voyage Tracker. In addition to Ventures by Seabourn, the line will offer a number of exciting, optional shore excursions for guests to explore the destinations, from whale watching outings and nature walks to helicopter and seaplane adventures. One of the offerings include the line's popular "Enjoy Your Catch" experience, an exclusive culinary experience available at select ports where guests can hook and savor their own personal catch of the day prepared by the onboard culinary team.

Guests can extend their time in Alaska and British Columbia with Seabourn Journeys, pre- and/or post-cruise packages featuring destinations and experiences in treasured locations that cannot be accessed on single-day excursions from Seabourn Odyssey. These include a visit to Banff National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, aboard the Rocky Mountaineer luxury train.

Costa Cruises Announces Its New 2021 Itineraries
Costa Cruises today announced it will continue its program for the gradual and responsible reintroduction of cruise holidays. Following the presentation of its cruises for the 2020-21 winter season, the Italian company has reshaped its itineraries for the rest of 2021, with the goal of providing guests the best possible cruise experience with enhanced health protocols.

From April through November 2021 Costa Cruises will further extend its Mediterranean offer with a large variety of options and the convenience of multiple ports of departure. Also, summer 2021 will see the return of cruising in Northern Europe, one of the most popular destinations among Costa's guests.

Details of the new itineraries and how to book them will be available shortly at Costa's website and at travel agencies. Costa is working with national and local authorities in the countries on its itineraries to offer guests a safe and enjoyable vacation experience, through implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol in all the destinations included in the new program for 2021.

From March until fall 2021, three ships will be deployed on a regular basis in the Western Mediterranean: Costa Smeralda, the first ship in the fleet powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG); Costa Firenze, its new ship under construction at Fincantieri's Marghera (Venice) yard; and Costa Pacifica, which will be offering 7-day cruises calling in Italy, France and Spain.

Three additional ships will be operating in the Eastern Mediterranean, all on one-week itineraries. Costa Deliziosa will sail to the Greek islands, Costa Luminosa will visit Greece and Croatia and Costa Magica will be going to Greece and Malta.

During the 2021 summer season, Costa will have four ships cruising in Northern Europe. Costa Fortuna and Costa Diadema will be sailing on one-week cruises to the Baltic capitals and the Norwegian fjords, respectively. Costa Favolosa will be offering spectacular 14-day holidays in Iceland, nine days in the Norwegian fjords and a fortnight in Ireland, Scotland and England. Costa Fascinosa will be operating on a 12-day cruise sailing all the way to the North Cape, and on a 9-day itinerary in the Baltic Sea.

During spring and fall 2021, Costa Fortuna, Costa Diadema, Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa will all be operating in the Mediterranean. Costa Diadema will visit Israel and Turkey on two separate alternating two-week cruises. Costa Fortuna will offer Western Mediterranean mini-cruises while Costa Favolosa will be deployed on mini-cruises in the spring and 10-day cruises to Morocco in the fall. Costa Fascinosa will sail on 10-day holidays bound for Lisbon.

The other cruises previously scheduled between March and November 2021 and not included in the new program will be canceled. Costa is making the necessary arrangements to inform travel agents and the customers concerned, who will be guaranteed the option of rebooking in accordance with the applicable requirements of consumer protection law.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.31 + 7.14%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 66.09 + 8.86%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.27 - 10.17%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.68 + 11.27%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Prior to S.O.S. a different code was used as the International signal for distress. What was the code, what did it stand for, and what was the first large passenger ship to use it to request help?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Some of the inside cabins P&O's s/s Canberra had an interesting feature that made them brighter than inside cabins on most other cruise ships. What was the feature?

Answer - The interesting feature that Canberra had that made some of the inside cabins were windows that looked out into a "court". These cabins, called "court cabins", were built in such a way that the they were staggered down the corridor and the wall of the innermost cabin jutted slightly passed that of the more outer cabin and had a window placed there - thus light from the outside would penetrate these inside cabins. They were usually 3 deep. 1992.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe


Cruise News - September 21, 2020

Costa's Cruises Return To Genoa
Costa Cruises announced that Costa Diadema will depart from Genoa today. She is the second Costa Cruises ship to return to the sea with a complement of guests. Costa Diadema's itinerary, which marks the return of Costa's cruise holidays to Liguria and the Western Mediterranean, only includes calls at Italian ports and is reserved for guests resident in Italy. After Genoa, her next ports of call will be Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.

"At last Costa's cruises are back in Genoa and Liguria, which has been our home for over 70 years. We're setting sail again gradually and responsibly, with safety protocols that are unrivalled in the tourism industry. The initial response from our guests has been most encouraging," said Group CEO, Costa Group & Carnival Asia Michael Thamm. "As Europe's number one cruise company, we have a responsibility to turn this difficult situation into an opportunity to come back stronger than ever, and to continue to develop the tourism and economic ecosystem of the destinations. We want to do it in close cooperation with all our stakeholders and we believe that Liguria has a leading role to play with us in becoming a model for others to follow based on four cornerstones: state-of-the-art infrastructures, like the new passenger terminals in Genoa and La Spezia; sustainable innovation, to improve environmental performance in ports, such as shore power, LNG; improved destination management and tourism development to better respond to the needs of today's travelers and expand our value creation capabilities; and support to the social needs of the community, for which we are committed through our Costa Crociere Foundation."

Liguria is featuring prominently in Costa's return to cruising, with a total of around 80 calls in this part of north-west Italy between now and the end of the 2020/21 winter season. From October 10 Savona will be the homeport for the flagship Costa Smeralda, the company's first vessel powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), which will be offering one-week cruise holidays in the Western Mediterranean. After a series of cruises intended for the French market, from November Costa Diadema will also be moving to Savona, for 12-day cruises to the Canary Islands and 14-day cruises to Egypt and Greece. Costa Firenze, the new ship under construction at Fincantieri's Marghera yard, will make her debut on December 27, again sailing in the Western Mediterranean, and calling at Genoa and La Spezia every week. Meanwhile, from October 22 to mid-December La Spezia will see the arrival of AIDAblu, operated by the Costa Group's German brand AIDA Cruises, on 7-day cruise vacations devoted entirely to Italy. Costa's cruises sailing on or after September 27 will be available for all European citizens who are residents in any of the countries listed in the most recent Prime Ministerial Decree.

The embarkation of guests on Costa Diadema for today's first departure from Genova has been carried out in accordance with the procedures set out in the Costa Safety Protocol, which contains new operational measures in response to the COVID-19 situation, dealing with all aspects of the cruise experience both on and off the ship. The procedures, devised with the support of independent public health experts, are in line with – and in some cases even stricter than – the health protocols defined by the relevant Italian and European authorities. On arrival at the Stazione Marittima in Genoa, with staggered entrance times by virtue of online check-in, each guest had their temperature scanned, submitted a health questionnaire and was subjected to an antigen rapid swab test, with the possibility of an additional molecular swab test for any suspected cases. Prior to embarking, crew members were also subjected to a molecular swab test at intervals and were quarantined for 14 days. In addition, each member of crew will have a monthly test.

Starting with the first call at Civitavecchia/Roma, the destinations on Costa Diadema's itinerary can be visited only by joining the protected excursions organized by the company for small groups of people on sanitized means of transport, and subject to temperature measurement before leaving and rejoining the ship. The shipboard amenities and entertainment have been redesigned based on the procedures in the Safety Protocol but still retain the distinguishing features of a Costa cruise holiday, thanks partly to the physical distancing enabled by the ship's reduced capacity. For example: repeat performances of the live shows for smaller audiences; a switch from buffet restaurants to seated dining; reduced capacity and minimum distance between tables in the theater, show lounge, bars and restaurants; staggered entrance for some facilities such as the spa, pools and kids' miniclub with a limited number of people allowed in at any one time. Also, there is enhanced cleaning and sanitization in all areas on board, including cabins, while the shipboard health services have been expanded. Other health & safety measures are the use of face masks whenever necessary, hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the ship and the introduction of self-service clinical thermometer kiosks.

Sun Princess and Sea Princess to Leave Princess Cruises Fleet
Princess Cruises, today announced the sale of two of its ships, Sun Princess and Sea Princess, to undisclosed buyers. The sale of these vessels is in line with parent company Carnival Corporation's plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet.

"Sun Princess and Sea Princess contributed to significant growth in Australian cruising," said Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz. "Both ships defined the premium cruise experience with Australians and New Zealanders spending close to 14 million nights aboard these ships. While it is never easy to say goodbye to any ship in our fleet, this will allow us to deploy newer ships enhancing our offerings for Australia cruisers and focus on bringing into service exciting newbuilds like the upcoming delivery of Enchanted Princess."

The first ship in the Sun Class, Sun Princess was introduced in 1995 debuting in the Caribbean and was amongst the largest ships in the world at the time. The 2,000-guest Sun Princess also sailed in Alaska and Panama Canal, among other destinations, before being homeported in Australia in October 2007. Sun Princess also helped us open the Japanese market in 2013 as the first foreign-flagged cruise ship to offer cruises designed specifically for the Japanese.

The 2,000-guest Sea Princess became synonymous with World Cruises, having completed six full world cruises since 2013. During her time based in Australia, Sea Princess travelled the equivalent of 35 times around the world. Prior to joining Sun Princess in Australia, Sea Princess sailed in Europe and Alaska as well as the Caribbean, including serving as a homeport ship in Barbados in the mid- to late-2000s.

Due to the imminent departure of these two ships from the fleet, Princess Cruises will cancel published itineraries which include:

• Sun Princess sailings from December 28, 2020 through August 14, 2021

• Sea Princess sailings from December 23, 2020 through November 9, 2021

Guests with bookings will be notified, and along with their travel advisors, will receive information on how to book another Princess Cruise when operations resume. Guests who prefer a refund will be accommodated.

P&O Cruises Cancels All Cruises Until Early 2021
P&O Cruises, part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL;NYSE: CUK), today confirmed an extension to its pause in operations, with all sailings cancelled until early 2021.

All Caribbean cruises are cancelled until the end of January 2021 and all cruises from and to Southampton are cancelled through February as well as Arcadia and Aurora, which have already been cancelled through to the end of their spring world cruises. Further details of the specific sailings and dates are highlighted on the company's website www.pocruises.com

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said:

"With evolving restrictions on travel from the UK, unfortunately it is necessary to cancel these itineraries.

"These further cancellations vary according to ship as well as complexity and length of itineraries, advice and guidance regarding ports of call and current air availability for fly/cruises.

"We are continuing to monitor the overall situation closely and will certainly reintroduce cruises should the opportunity arise and it is feasible to do so."

Ludlow confirmed that the company is working with several of the "most brilliant minds in science as well as government at the highest level" on the approved and enhanced health protocols, which will be in place once the company resumes sailing.

He continued: "Whilst adherence to the protocols on board and ongoing vigilance will be critical, this will always be coupled with providing the well-deserved and memorable holidays for which we are known, with all the standout moments on board and experiences on shore. This is what we have always done and will continue to do."

Ludlow concluded on an optimistic note saying: "We cannot wait for restrictions to ease, borders to open and for us to once again be able to set sail for a new beginning."

All guests with bookings on a cancelled cruise will be notified and will automatically receive an enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit or alternatively a 100% refund by filling out a web form.

CLIA and its Cruise Line Members Announce Mandatory Core Elements of Health Protocols
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, announced today the adoption of mandatory core elements of a strong set of health protocols to be implemented as part of a phased-in, highly controlled resumption of operations. A critical next step, now that initial sailing has begun effectively with strict protocols in Europe, is the resumption of operations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America (the Americas), which encompass the largest cruise market in the world.

Informed by leading scientists, medical experts, and health authorities, the core elements are the product of extensive work by CLIA oceangoing cruise lines and their renowned teams of science and medical experts, including the recommendations from the Healthy Sail panel established by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. released today, as well as MSC's Blue Ribbon group and Carnival Corporation's collection of outside independent experts. Other considerations included the effective protocols developed for the successful sailings in Europe by MSC Cruises, Costa, TUI Cruises, Ponant, Seadream, and others.

The CLIA Global Board unanimously voted to adopt all of the listed core elements for an initial restart of limited operations in the Americas and, most important, operations related to U.S. ports. These core elements will be continuously evaluated and adjusted against the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the availability of new prevention, therapeutics, and mitigation measures.

Coinciding with the release of the core elements agreed to by CLIA ocean-going cruise line members, the Association issued the following statement:

Guided by world-class experts in medicine and science, CLIA and its ocean-going cruise line members have outlined a pathway to support a phased-in, highly-controlled return to passenger service in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America with protocols that promote the health and safety of passengers, crew and the communities visited. The core elements mirror the successful resumption of cruising in other parts of the world and include 100% testing of passengers and crew prior to boarding — a travel industry first. Initial cruises would sail on modified itineraries under stringent protocols that encompass the entirety of the cruise experience, from booking to debarkation. With support and approval of regulators and destinations, cruises could feasibly begin during the remainder of 2020.

The core elements, which are applicable to CLIA member ocean-going cruise ships subject to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) No Sail Order, will also be submitted by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) on behalf of its members in response to the CDC's Request for Information (RFI) related to the safe resumption of cruise operations. CLIA's response to the RFI also details other measures that address the entire cruise experience from booking to disembarkation.

Highlights include:

• Testing. 100% testing of passengers and crew for COVID-19 prior to embarkation

• Mask-Wearing. Mandatory wearing of masks by all passengers and crew onboard and during excursions whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained

• Distancing. Physical distancing in terminals, onboard ships, on private islands and during shore excursions

• Ventilation. Air management and ventilation strategies to increase fresh air onboard and, where feasible, using enhanced filters and other technologies to mitigate risk

• Medical Capability: Risk based response plans tailored for each ship to manage medical needs, dedicated cabin capacity allocated for isolation and other operational measures, and advance arrangements with private providers for shoreside quarantine, medical facilities, and transportation.

• Shore Excursions: Only permit shore excursions according to the cruise operators' prescribed protocols, with strict adherence required of all passengers and denial of re-boarding for any passengers that do not comply.

Implementation of these elements on board every oceangoing ship subject to the CDC's No Sail Order is mandatory and requires written verification of adoption by each company's CEO. These elements do not preclude additional measures that may be adopted by individual lines. Measures will be continuously evaluated and adjusted against the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the availability of new prevention and mitigation measures.

Leaders representing governments, destinations, science and medicine responded favorably to the core elements announced by CLIA today, including the following:

• Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, who co-chairs the Americas Cruise Tourism Task Force, said: "Cruise tourism is incredibly important to our regional economies and we are eager for its safe return to help revitalize our economies and share the beauty of our destinations. As part of the Americas Cruise Tourism Task Force, government leaders in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, have been working productively with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), CLIA, and the cruise lines to implement guidance for cruise resumption and good progress is being made. The cruise lines' commitment to conduct 100% testing for all passengers and crew is significant and unique as compared to any other sector. Having this core element in place as part of an initial phase of operations adds a layer of confidence for us as we continue to work together developing guidelines and protocols so we may safely welcome cruising back to our regions."

• Governor Mike Leavitt, Co-Chair, Healthy Sail Panel and Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), said: "The industry's commitment to create best practices for mitigating the risk of SARS-CoV-2, is a necessary step. By embracing best practices to protect public health, cruise lines can provide a clear pathway for resuming operations in a way that safeguards the health of our guests, crew and communities. There have been many lessons learned and advances made by medicine and science over the past six months, and we need to continue to advance our approach going forward."

• Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said: With the development of these rigorous safety protocols, the cruise industry is once again demonstrating its leadership and commitment to public health in travel and tourism. Simply put, the cruise industry has taken such a thorough and comprehensive approach to caring for public health. Based on the effectiveness of the protocols implemented by CLIA members in Europe and other parts of the world, I am confident that a slow and gradual resumption of cruise operations in the Americas can be done responsibly in the coming months.

• Christos Hadjichristodoulou, Professor of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Thessaly said: "What we have seen is that when procedures are in place and they are rigorously followed, the risk is minimized. The core elements of the approach developed by the cruise industry which adopt scientific evidence-based EU guidelines for COVID-19, go further than I have seen in almost any other industry—and serve to demonstrate this industry's commitment to upholding the highest standards of health and safety onboard ships and within the communities they visit. I am satisfied with the engagement of the cruise industry to follow the EU guidelines and impressed with the level of detail that has gone into the planning process. I look forward to continued progress as cruises resume on a limited basis with a phased-in approach."

• Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, said: "As the Travel & Tourism sector continues in its fight for survival, the cruise industry is proving the importance of testing as effective tool to resume travel. The core elements of the approach, developed by the cruise industry are in line with WTTC's Safe Travels protocols, which were designed to enable travellers to identify destinations around the world that have adopted our health and hygiene global standardised protocols. An industry wide testing programme is the key to recovery and the cruise industry is leading by example, testing all passengers and crew prior to boarding.

Implementing this comprehensive programme, and adopting these enhanced measures, serves to demonstrate the commitment of this industry to uphold the highest standards of health and safety. We are impressed with the level of detail that has gone into the planning process and look forward to seeing the continued progress as cruises resume on a limited basis and phased-in approach."

CLIA president and CEO Kelly Craighead offered the following comment:

"We recognize the devastating impact that this pandemic, and the subsequent suspension of cruise operations, has had on economies throughout the world, including the nearly half a million members of the wider cruise community and small businesses in the Americas who depend on this vibrant industry for their livelihoods. Based on what we are seeing in Europe, and following months of collaboration with leading public health experts, scientists, and governments, we are confident that these measures will provide a pathway for the return of limited sailings from the U.S. before the end of this year."

According to CLIA's most recent Economic Impact Study, cruise activity in the United States supported over 420,000 American jobs and generates $53 billion annually in economic activity throughout the country prior to the pandemic. Each day of the suspension of U.S. cruise operations results in a loss of up to $110 million in economic activity and 800 direct and indirect American jobs. The impact of the suspension has been particularly profound in states that depend heavily on cruise tourism, including Florida, Texas, Alaska, Washington, New York and California.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.29 - 19.94%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 60.71 - 14.42%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.26 - 1.67%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 14.99 - 11.67%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Some of the inside cabins P&O's s/s Canberra had an interesting feature that made them brighter than inside cabins on most other cruise ships.